Louisiana US Attorneys Announce $9,688,333 Award to Address COVID-19 Pandemic

Louisiana US Attorneys Announce $9,688,333 Award to Address COVID-19 Pandemic

Published May 1, 2020

From the Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District of Louisiana United States Attorney David C. Joseph, Western District of Louisiana, United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin, Middle District of Louisiana, and United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser, Eastern District of Louisiana, jointly announced May 1, 2020, that the State of Louisiana received $9,688,333 in a Department of Justice grant to respond to the public safety challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID-19.

The grant to the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement is available under the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program, authorized by the recent stimulus legislation signed by President Trump. In addition to the state award, $5,039,791 has been allocated to local agencies throughout Louisiana, with $2,282,168 being set aside for 22 jurisdictions in the Western District, $1,946,546 for 12 jurisdictions in the Eastern District of Louisiana, and $811,077 for five jurisdictions in the Middle District of Louisiana. 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.

“Our law enforcement officers and first responders are facing new challenges posed by COVID-19 and need our support,” said U.S. Attorney Joseph. “This grant will help provide our officers with the tools they need to maintain public health and safety as we battle the coronavirus pandemic. I thank our law enforcement partners for their service to the citizens of the Western District of Louisiana and encourage them to take advantage of this funding opportunity.”

U.S. Attorney Fremin stated, “This funding is a tremendous boost allowing law enforcement and first responder agencies to enhance their efforts in combatting COVID-related personnel and community issues specific to their jurisdictions. This grant serves as another demonstration of the Department’s commitment to support law enforcement’s front line efforts in not only protecting themselves in the line of duty, but also the citizens and communities they serve.”

“The citizens of Southeast Louisiana have been severely affected by the onslaught of COVID-19 throughout their communities. Without the unwavering dedication and selflessness of first responders and public safety professionals, who are on the frontlines of this battle, our community would be adrift. The allocation of these funds provides the opportunity to support those who support us,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Peter G. Strasser.

“The outbreak of COVID-19 and the public health emergency it created are sobering reminders that even the most routine duties performed by our nation’s public safety officials carry potentially grave risks,” said Katharine T. Sullivan, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs. “These funds will provide hard-hit communities with critical resources to help mitigate the impact of this crisis and give added protection to the brave professionals charged with keeping citizens safe.”

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.