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USAO Gets $2,932,867 Award To Address COVID-19 Pandemic In The Territory

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced today that the U.S. Virgin Islands received $2,932,867 in U.S. Department of Justice grants to respond to the challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID-19.

The grant, awarded to the Virgin Islands Law Enforcement Planning Commission (LEPC), is available under the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program, authorized by the recent stimulus legislation signed by President Trump. In addition, funds have been allocated to local jurisdictions.

Those jurisdictions can find out if they are eligible and apply immediately
by visiting this website. 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.

U.S. Attorney Shappert stated, “The COVID-19 pandemic has seriously impacted the U.S. Virgin Islands, just like every other community in America. These funds from the U.S. Department of Justice will assist the Virgin Islands Law Enforcement Planning Commission with projects and initiatives designed to support public safety in the Territory.”

The law gives jurisdictions considerable latitude in the use of these funds for dealing with COVID-19. Potential uses include hiring personnel, paying overtime, purchasing protective equipment and distributing resources to hard-hit areas. Funds may also be used to help correctional facilities cover costs related to COVID-19, including, but not limited to, sanitation,
contagion prevention and measures designed to address the related medical needs of inmates, detainees and correctional personnel.

Agencies that were eligible for the fiscal year 2019 State and Local Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program are candidates for the emergency funding.

Local units of government and tribes will receive direct awards separately according to their jurisdictions’ allocations. For a list of all awards thus far, visit the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program webpage.

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

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