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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23, 1997202/307-0703

Rhode Island Receives Over $1.1 Million for Local Law Enforcement Efforts

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Rhode Island was awarded $137,395 million today under the Justice Department's Local Law Enforcement Block Grants Program. These funds will be used by the state to reduce crime and improve public safety in local jurisdictions.

The Local Law Enforcement Block Grants Program, now in its second year, is administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the Justice Department agency that supports implementation of comprehensive criminal justice strategies developed by each state and territory. BJA also supports state and local efforts through testing innovative approaches in preventing and controlling crime.

"Rhode Island can use these funds to build on efforts initiated with last year's LLEBG grants," said BJA Director Nancy Gist. "We are proud to work with the states through the LLEBG program to assist them to prevent crime and make their streets safer."

Based on the program's formula as established by Congress, jurisdictions are awarded a specific amount based on the level of the most serious, violent crimes. Jurisdictions whose award would be $10,000 or more receive funds directly from BJA. The aggregate of all of the awards smaller than $10,000 is provided to the state. Rhode Island intends to use the funds to make awards to units of local government that did not qualify for direct awards.

In addition to this direct state award, 13 jurisdictions in Rhode Island are eligible for awards totaling over $984,000 to reduce crime and improve public safety. Among the larger awards are $392,909 for Providence and $95,342 for Warwick.

Last year, Rhode Island received over $987,000 under the LLEBG program. The state received over $121,404 to make awards to state police departments that provide law enforcement services to units of local government, and over 10 jurisdictions that qualified for direct awards received over $866,000.

The Omnibus Fiscal Year 1997 Appropriations Act, Public Law 104-208, provided $523 million for the Local Law Enforcement Block Grants Program. States have two years from the date of the initial award by BJA to expend the funds. At the end of that two-year period, the state must return remaining funds to BJA.

For further information at the state level, please contact Joseph Persia, Rhode Island Governor's Justice Commission, at 401/277-4498.

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BJA 98-007-RI

After hours contact: Page Doug Johnson at 1-888/582-6753