Governor Andy Beshear announced some of Kentucky’s local public safety agencies and governments have been awarded more than $5.7 million in grant funding. The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program (CESF).
Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Mary Noble says the funding is critical in allowing these agencies to better serve their communities during this pandemic.
“The awarded funds will assist agencies with overtime related to fighting COVID-19, purchasing equipment, supplies, training, travel and addressing the medical needs of inmates in state prisons, local jails and detention centers,” Noble said. “Our grants management division staff has worked diligently to oversee the application process, and I encourage public safety agencies who have not yet applied, to do so soon.”
Twenty-six public safety agencies and local governments have applied for and been awarded $2,404,673 in pass-through funds administered by the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. The 26 awarded agencies are the initial round of CESF funding.
The City of Murray was awarded $16,652 for PPE. Other awarded agencies include: Greenville Police Department, Kentucky Department of Corrections, Kentucky Department of Parks, Kentucky State Police, and Legal Aid of the Bluegrass.
Greenville Police Department, in Muhlenberg County, has been awarded $23,987 for reimbursement of overtime expenses related to COVID-19 response. The Kentucky Department of Corrections (DOC) has been awarded $693,800 for supplies, equipment and PPE to be distributed to all DOC institutions. Funds will also be used to purchase supplies for inmates in the Kentucky Correctional Industries Garment Plant at Kentucky State Petitionary to make additional PPE and for air system sterilization equipment.
Cookie Crews is the commissioner for Kentucky Department of Corrections. He says his department is committed to mitigating the spread of COVID-19 among staff and the jailed population.
“Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding increases the Department’s response efforts by expanding Kentucky Correctional Industries’ mask and gown production, expanding remote reporting capabilities for offenders on probation and parole, and piloting in-duct ultraviolet lights in institutional HVAC systems,” Crews said. “Additionally, funding will be utilized to acquire and expand personal protective equipment for staff and inmates.”
The Kentucky Department of Parks has been awarded $139,735 for PPE, cleaning supplies, replacement of ranger gear, and reimbursement of overtime expenses related to COVID-19 response.
Kentucky State Police (KSP) has been awarded $389,148 for technological solutions, equipment for classrooms and barracks, and an air purifier for the HVAC system to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 while cadets attend basic training at the KSP Academy.
Legal Aid of the Bluegrass has been awarded $119,745 to be distributed among the state’s civil legal aid programs to provide legal zoom rooms for 83 counties. Jacob Crabtree is Executive Director of Legal Aid of the Bluegrass. He says as COVID-19 has changed the way courts are doing business, legal guidance through zoom is a safe and confidential option.
“Funding through the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet will allow Legal Aid of the Bluegrass, Legal Aid Society, and Kentucky Legal Aid to build dedicated spaces equipped with video conferencing tools, for impoverished clients who would otherwise be unable to meet with their attorney or the courts remotely,” Crabtree said. “The rooms will remove technology barriers, and provide a safe and confidential environment for people as they work to resolve their civil legal issues critical to families’ housing, safety, stability and health.”
An additional $3,375,231 in CESF funds was made available to governmental agencies selected by the USDOJ for direct awards. The Western Kentucky counties selected and granted by USDOJ for direct awards to prevent, prepare for and respond to the novel coronavirus in their jurisdictions include: Christian, Daviess, McCracken.
Additional funding opportunities remain available and applications are currently being accepted. For additional information and to apply for CESF grant funding visit the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet’s website.