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Gov. Gregoire announces $22.4 million in federal recovery money to bolster criminal justice programs

For Immediate Release: June 3, 2009

OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire today announced that the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development (CTED) was awarded $22.4 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds to administer Edward J. Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants across Washington.

“These recovery based grants will retain prosecutors, fight gang-related crime, and invest in critical community-based crime prevention programs across the state,” said Gregoire. “At a time when law enforcement and judicial agencies are tightening their belts, this stimulus funding will support these vital programs.”

The Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Recovery funds will restore 16 state trooper positions that serve local drug task forces, retain or restore 56 local law enforcement and related jobs across the state.

Grants will be distributed by CTED directly to local governments based on established US Department of Justice formulas to fund improvements in law enforcement, prosecution and court programs, prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, planning, evaluation and technology improvements, and crime victim witness programs. Some of the funds have already started to go to communities, and more will be distributed for specific programs during the next two months. The Byrne Program has distributed funds for criminal justice since 1989.

“The Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants are important to supporting safe, thriving communities that keep us perennially among the most desirable places to live and work,” Rogers Weed, CTED Director said.

Washington state is administering the Recovery Act investments with an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability. Gov. Gregoire created a new Web site (www.recovery.wa.gov/) enabling every Washingtonian to see where their tax dollars are going and hold government accountable for the results. On the federal level, President Barack Obama has appointed Vice President Joe Biden to oversee all states' recovery efforts and to root out waste and fraud. This combined oversight will ensure taxpayer dollars are put to good use and recharge the economy.

CTED is the lead state agency charged with enhancing and promoting sustainable community and economic vitality in Washington. For more information, visit www.cted.wa.gov.