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July 22, 2014

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Originally published: 2012-06-15 09:54:52
Last modified: 2012-06-15 09:57:53

Police to receive $20.2K grant for communications

Gov. Bev Perdue has announced the awarding of $21.4 million in federal crime grants to state and local agencies for public safety needs, including 10 new projects to address prescription drug abuse in North Carolina.

“These grant awards are coming at a time when agency budgets are strapped, and the crime prevention needs have grown,” Perdue said. “We welcome the innovative programs that these critical resources provide to help keep citizens and their communities safe.”  

The governor approved funding for 276 programs in all 100 counties, including two universities and four state agencies based on recommendations from members of the Governor’s Crime. The federal grants will help target gangs, fight juvenile delinquency, assist victims and provide updated equipment for law enforcement agencies.   

The grants include $20,207 to the town of Blowing Rock to be used to upgrade a mobile communications project for the Blowing Rock Police Department. 

Avery County received $59,979 for the purchase of laptop computers and software. 

OASIS, a women’s and children’s shelter and support program, received $153,527 total from four separate grants.  

In addition, funds are being used to support programs addressing one of the fastest growing problems in North Carolina, prescription drug abuse. This epidemic has increased the number of drug overdoses at alarming rates, according to Purdue. Obtaining prescription medications by illicit means and use, resulting in deaths of teens and adults has caused great concern in medical, law enforcement and local communities. 

Ten programs operating around the state will provide the necessary training, outreach and diversion tactics to decrease the number of illegal prescriptions obtained under false pretense and nonprescribed use in the state. 

“The tactics will hopefully decrease the number of drug-related criminal incidents and deaths seen in our state,” according to Purdue.

The members of the Governor’s Crime Commission met to approve final funding recommendations at a March meeting. The commission’s recommendations were then submitted to Perdue and Secretary Reuben Young of the N.C. Department of Public Safety for their approval. 

Since that time, those recommended for funding have been revising their proposals to comply with state and federal regulations. Projects recommended for funding included 101 Criminal Justice Improvement grants totaling $4.5 million, 156 Crime Victim Services grants totaling $15.1 million and 19 Juvenile Justice grants totaling $1.8 million.

“Each year we are encouraged by the innovative thinking and new tools being used to help reduce crime,” said District Attorney Scott Thomas, chairman of the Governor’s Crime Commission. “The staff of the Crime Commission works throughout the year staying abreast of crime trends and monitoring the effectiveness of the grantee’s programs. The impact of their work has had a lasting effect.”

The purpose of GCC funding is to help establish new programs that may be beneficial to local communities and sustained by those communities.   

The Governor’s Crime Commission is a section in the Department of Public Safety and is headed by Executive Director Gwendolyn W. Burrell. 

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