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Money can be used in a variety of ways – including for staffing, overtime, protective gear or medical care in jails and prisons

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – United States Attorneys G. Zachary Terwilliger and Thomas T. Cullen today announced that the Commonwealth of Virginia has been awarded over $10.8 million in Department of Justice grants to respond to the public safety challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID-19.

The grants, to the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, and to the City of Petersburg, are available under the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program, authorized by the recent stimulus legislation signed by President Trump. The Justice Department is moving quickly, awarding grants on a rolling basis and aiming to have funds available for drawdown as soon as possible after receiving applications.

“Those on the front lines of the public safety response to the coronavirus have our support, gratitude, and utmost respect,” said Terwilliger. “The Department of Justice provides this funding with significant flexibility, so that state and local departments can use it in the ways that best benefit their officers and their community.”

“The outbreak of COVID-19 and the public health emergency it created are sobering reminders that even the most routine duties performed by our nation’s public safety officials carry potentially grave risks,” said Katharine T. Sullivan, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs. “These funds will provide hard-hit communities with critical resources to help mitigate the impact of this crisis and give added protection to the brave professionals charged with keeping citizens safe.”

“U.S. Attorney Terwilliger and I are committed to working closely with our state and local partners to protect the public during this difficult time,” said Thomas Cullen, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia. “It is our hope that these funds will assist the Virginia DCJS in meeting its core responsibilities.”

The Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding (CESF) Program allows States, U.S. Territories, the District of Columbia, units of local government, and federally recognized tribal governments to support a broad range of activities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus. Funded projects or initiatives may include, but are not limited to, overtime, equipment (including law enforcement and  medical personal protective equipment), hiring, supplies (such as gloves, masks, sanitizer), training, travel expenses (particularly related to the distribution of resources to the most impacted areas), and addressing the medical needs of inmates in state, local, and tribal prisons, jails, and detention centers.

The Office of Justice Programs, directed by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan, provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, assist victims and enhance the rule of law by strengthening the criminal and juvenile justice systems. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

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