Governor Abbott announces over $308M in funding for public safety initiatives in Texas

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AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott announced Wednesday that his Public Safety Office (PSO) will administer more than $308 million in grant funding for a variety of public safety programs and services in Texas, including victims’ services, anti-human trafficking efforts, and law enforcement support.

“Nothing is more important than the safety and security of our communities, and the State of Texas continues to bolster programs and services that help keep Texans safe,” said Abbott. “This $308 million in grant funding for public safety initiatives will provide even more support to organizations and agencies that work tirelessly to protect our communities, advocate for victims of crime, secure justice, and more.”

The grants recently released include, but are not limited to, funding for the following:

Bullet Resistant Vests: 47 awards totaling $2.1 million to provide peace officers with rifle-resistant body armor to prevent loss of life during tactical and emergency response operations.

County Innovations to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation: 6 awards totaling $1.2 million for innovative projects that prevent, investigate, and/or prosecute the commercial sexual exploitation of people in Texas.

Crime Stoppers Assistance: 35 awards totaling $381.5 thousand to strategically support, expand, and fund local certified Texas Crime Stoppers organizations that help protect our communities.

District Attorney Forensic Evidence Testing: 11 awards totaling $1 million to reimburse district attorney offices for costs associated with the forensic analysis of physical evidence.

Homeland Security: 382 awards totaling $61.7 million to help prevent terrorism and prepare for the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk to the security of Texas and its citizens. These projects fund equipment, planning, training, exercises and other activities for local, regional, and state-level agencies and strengthen core capabilities outlined in the National Preparedness Goal.

Human Trafficking: 21 awards totaling $4.5 million for short and long-term residential services, advocacy, and case management for survivors of human trafficking in Texas.

Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforces: 3 awards totaling $1.3 million for projects that develop an effective response to technology-facilitated child sexual exploitation and Internet crimes against children that encompasses forensic and investigative components, training and technical assistance, victim services, and community education.

Incident-based Reporting Conversion: 19 awards totaling $893.5 thousand for projects that enable local law enforcement agencies to upgrade their technology infrastructure to support the submission of data to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS).

Justice Assistance: 235 awards totaling $14.6 million to promote public safety, reduce crime, and improve the criminal justice system. Projects funded support personnel, equipment, supplies, training, technical assistance, and information systems for criminal justice purposes.

Juvenile Justice and Truancy Prevention: 110 awards totaling $9.4 million to prevent violence in and around schools and to improve the juvenile justice system by providing mental health services, truancy prevention, and intervention through community-based and school programs.

Local Border Security (Border Star): 94 awards totaling $5.1 million to provide for overtime and operating costs that support an increased law enforcement presence to detect, deter, and disrupt drug, human, and other trafficking along the Texas/Mexico border.

Non-Profit Security Enhancement: 46 awards totaling $6.4 million for projects that support physical security enhancements and other security activities to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of a terrorist attack based on the nonprofit organization’s ideology, beliefs or mission.

Paul Coverdell Forensic Sciences Improvement: 5 awards totaling 1.7 million for projects that improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science or medical examiners services as well as projects seeking to address emerging forensic science. Specific funding has been reserved for projects that support responses to the opioid epidemic.

Project Safe Neighborhoods: 20 awards totaling $1.2 million for projects designed to create and foster safer neighborhoods through a sustained reduction in violent crime, including, but not limited to, addressing criminal gangs and felonious possession and use of firearms.

Residential Substance Abuse Treatment: 7 awards totaling $2.7 million for projects that provide residential substance abuse treatment within local correctional and detention facilities.

SAFE Ready Facilities: 26 awards totaling $1.2 million to assist medical care facilities throughout Texas with the necessary training, equipment, and supplies to achieve and maintain Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE)-Ready designation as defined in Chapter 323 of the Texas Health and Safety Code.

Serving Victims of Crime & Addressing Violence Against Women: 530 awards totaling $186.7 million to provide services directly to victims of crime to speed their recovery and aid them through the criminal justice process as well as projects that promote a coordinated, multi-disciplinary approach to improve the justice system’s response to violent crimes against women.

Sexual Assault Evidence Testing: 3 awards totaling $555.1 thousand to reimburse local law enforcement agencies for costs associated with the forensic analysis of physical evidence in relation to sexual assault or other sex offenses.

Specialty Courts: 56 awards totaling $6.5 million to support judicially supervised treatment, intensive case management, and other services to assist participants with substance abuse or mental health challenges to move toward a healthier lifestyle, reduce the number of repeat offenses, and address congestion in the court system.

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