FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 31, 2006
GOVERNOR HALEY BARBOUR AWARDS FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT GRANTS TO MISSISSIPPI COMMUNITIES & STATE AGENCIES
(Jackson, Mississippi)—Governor Haley Barbour today awarded $58.25 million in federal grants to aid law enforcement and state agencies in the wake of Katrina. This supplemental funding supports these agencies by putting more police on the streets with the necessary equipment, protects law enforcement officers from local budget pressures and adds prosecutors to our justice system.
“I am very grateful to our congressional delegation, President Bush and U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for their efforts to provide this funding for our state,” Governor Barbour said. “These funds will help enable local law enforcement agencies, struggling in the aftermath of the hurricane, to meet new public safety demands while preparing for future disasters. By improving public safety in these affected areas, Mississippi is continuing to build back bigger and better than ever.”
More than 60 local state governments and district attorney’s offices in 18 counties will receive a total of nearly $30 million to improve public safety. In addition to directly supporting local governments, about $6 million of these funds will be used to fund a highway patrol training school, which will provide 50 new trained and equipped highway patrol officers for the state’s roads. Another $1.5 million will be used to provide urgent upgrades to Mississippi’s Automated Fingerprint Identification System, and $17 million will be set aside to provide state support for an interoperable communications system for law enforcement and first responders. Nearly $500,000 will be used to upgrade the search and rescue equipment of the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, whose wildlife officers played a key role in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.