The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to states and units of local government. BJA will award JAG Program funds to eligible units of local government under this FY 2018 JAG Program Local Solicitation. (A separate solicitation will be issued for applications to BJA directly from states.)
Permissible uses of JAG Funds
In general, JAG funds awarded to a unit of local government under this FY 2018 solicitation may be used to provide additional personnel, equipment, supplies, contractual support, training, technical assistance, and information systems for criminal justice, including any one or more of the following:
• Law enforcement programs
• Prosecution and court programs
• Prevention and education programs
• Corrections and community corrections programs
• Drug treatment and enforcement programs
• Planning, evaluation, and technology improvement programs
• Crime victim and witness programs (other than compensation)
• Mental health programs and related law enforcement and corrections programs,
including behavioral programs and crisis intervention teams
BJA Areas of Emphasis
BJA recognizes that many state and local criminal justice systems currently face challenging fiscal environments, and that an important, cost-effective way to relieve those pressures is to share or leverage resources through cooperation between federal, state, and local law enforcement. BJA intends to focus much of its work on the areas of emphasis described below, and encourages each recipient of an FY 2018 JAG award to join federal law enforcement agencies in addressing these challenges.
Reducing Violent Crime – Recognizing that crime problems, including felonious possession and use of a firearm and/or gang violence, illegal drug sales and distribution, human trafficking, and other related violent crime, vary from community to community, BJA encourages states to tailor their programs to the local crime issues, and to be data-informed in their work. States should consider investing JAG funds in programs to combat gun violence, and to improve the process for ensuring that persons prohibited from purchasing guns (see, e.g., 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)) are prevented from doing so, by utilizing technology such as eTrace and NIBIN to analyze evidence as well as by enhancing complete, accurate, and timely reporting to the FBI’s NICS. States are also encouraged to coordinate with United States Attorney’s Offices and Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN) grantees in order to leverage funding for violence reduction projects, and to coordinate their law enforcement activities with those of federal law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Department of Homeland Security.
Officer Safety and Wellness – The issue of law enforcement safety and wellness is an important priority for BJA and DOJ. According to the Preliminary 2017 Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Report, released by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), as of December 28, 2017, there were 128 law enforcement line-of-duty deaths nationwide in 2017. Firearms-related deaths were the second leading cause of law enforcement deaths (44) in 2017, according to the NLEOMF report. Of those deaths, the leading circumstance was officers shot while responding to a domestic disturbance (7), followed by traffic enforcement, investigative activities, and dealing with a suspicious person or vehicle—6 instances in each circumstance. Additionally, deaths due to circumstances other than firearms- or traffic-related deaths increased by 61 percent in 2017, with 37 deaths compared to 23 in 2016. Sixteen of those deaths were due to job-related illnesses, including 10 due to heart attacks.
Based on the latest reports (2016 and 2015) from the FBI’s Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) data, there appeared to be a continuing increase in assaults between 2015 and 2016. There were 57,180 assaults in 2016 versus 50,212 in 2015. Of those, 16,535 resulted in officer injuries in 2016 compared to 14,281 in 2015. The 2016 LEOKA reports that there were 17 officers killed in ambush situations, which is an increase from 2015 when 4 officers were killed in ambush situations.
BJA sees a vital need to focus not only on tactical officer safety concerns, but also on health and wellness as they affect officer performance and safety. It is important for law enforcement to have the tactical skills necessary, and also be physically and mentally well, to perform, survive, and be resilient in the face of the demanding duties of the profession. BJA encourages states to use JAG funds to address these needs by providing training, and paying for tuition and travel expenses related to attending trainings such as those available through the BJA VALOR Initiative, as well as funding for health and wellness programs for law enforcement officers.
Border Security – Securing U.S. borders (and internationally accessible waterways and -airports) is critically important to the reduction and prevention of transnational drug-trafficking networks and combating all forms of human trafficking within the United States (including sex and labor trafficking of foreign nationals and U.S. citizens of all sexes and ages). Smuggling and trafficking operations to, from and within the United States contribute to a significant increase in violent crime and U.S. deaths. BJA encourages units of local government to enhance border, waterway, and port security by using JAG funds to support law enforcement hiring, training, and technology enhancement, as well as cooperation and coordination among federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies.
Collaborative Prosecution and Law Enforcement – BJA supports strong partnerships between prosecutors and law enforcement, at all levels of government, in order to help take violent offenders off the street. BJA strongly encourages state and local law enforcement agencies to foster strong partnerships with federal law enforcement agencies, and with their own prosecutors, as well as federal prosecutors, to adopt new, cost-effective, collaborative strategies to reduce crime, particularly violent crime. (BJA's Innovative Prosecution Solutions Initiative is a related effort to promote partnerships between prosecutors and researchers to develop and deliver effective, data-driven, evidence-based strategies to solve chronic problems and fight crime.)
Goals, Objectives, and Deliverables
In general, the FY 2018 JAG Program is designed to provide additional personnel, equipment, supplies, contractual support, training, technical assistance, and information systems for criminal justice. Although the JAG Program provides assistance directly to states, through pass-through (and similar) requirements, the JAG Program also is designed to assist units of local government with respect to criminal justice.
City of Bradenton Proposed Use of Funds
The City of Bradenton Police Department proposes to use its fiscal year 2018 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Formula Program funds as means to acquire law enforcement equipment and to perform increased investigations into violent crimes and narcotic sales.
The City of Bradenton is centrally located along the west coast of Florida. The Bradenton Police Department has an authorized police force of 120 officers dedicated to serving a community of approximately 55,000 residents with an average of more than 3 million visitors to the Bradenton area every year.
Internal data, community needs, and the needs of the Bradenton Police Department were used to develop the project identifiers and funding strategy that are included in this proposal. The Bradenton Police Department employs community policing strategies throughout the operations of the police department and works with our stakeholders within the community, including providers of mental health services, human trafficking, and sexual abuse. The Bradenton Police Department maintains open communication lines with our stakeholders as well as local, state, and federal partners, to work in a cooperative effort to make the City of Bradenton a better place in which to live, work, and conduct business.
The Bradenton Police Department is proposing to use the FY 2018 Local Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant to purchase binoculars, night vision cameras, portable cameras, and covert audio/video technology. In order to focus additional concentrated law enforcement resources in preventing gun violence, violent crimes, and narcotic use, the Bradenton Police Department will also use a portion of the available JAG funding to pay for overtime costs.
Within the last year, the City of Bradenton experienced 4 homicides, 239 drug overdoses, 733 other drug-related incidents, 17 drug-related overdose deaths, and 308 violent acts of crime with 221 of those involving a firearm. In many instances, acts of violent crimes involving a firearm and narcotic use are closely related. Both of these types of crime contribute to the overall crime rate within the City of Bradenton. The Bradenton Police Department will use the FY 2018 JAG funds to combat these crimes head on and reduce the number of violent acts of crime and illegal use of narcotics.
To further address narcotic-related crimes, gun violence, and violent crimes, the Bradenton Police Department will use a portion of available funds to initiate supplemental street level and covert investigations. In addition to supplemental investigative tactics, available funds will also be used to purchase binoculars, night vision cameras, portable cameras, and covert audio/video technology. This equipment will expand the Bradenton Police Department’s ability to conduct traditional and undercover investigations. The new audio/video and covert devices will allow the Bradenton Police Department the ability to better gather, document, and prepare evidence for court proceedings as well as provide a safer environment for officers actively engaged in investigations.
The equipment listed in this proposal is essential to identifying suspects, conducting investigations, and increasing convictions. The Bradenton Police Department will continue to work collaboratively with our community partners to find long-term solutions that will combat the use of heroin and/or opiates.
At the conclusion of the programs, data will be summarized, compared, and reported. The Bradenton Police Department is capable and confident in our ability to fulfill this proposal as we seek to eliminate crime and the fear for our stakeholders.
Budget and Budget Narrative
Binoculars, night vision cameras, portable Wi-Fi cameras, covert audio system, covert cameras
Total Equipment $ 13,060
The equipment purchased through the use of JAG funds will enhance our abilities to solve crimes that are committed during wither the day or night and document relevant evidence for future prosecution. This equipment will support investigations into gun violence, violent crimes, drug offenses, and violent crimes.
The audio and video equipment will be used to conduct surveillance during criminal investigations and enhance the availability of evidence.
The equipment listed above has been developed in a cost effective manner. Updated quotes will be obtained before any equipment is purchased. The equipment will be allocated for law enforcement equipment, prosecution/drug enforcement, surveillance, and overtime.
Estimated personnel/overtime costs for police officers and sergeants will be calculated at 1.5x their hourly rate plus fringe benefits. This total was calculated by using the remainder of allowed spending after subtracting necessary equipment costs.
Total Personnel Overtime/Fringe Benefits costs $ 11,428
The Bradenton Police Department uses a Community Policing strategy that utilizes all of the department’s resources to reduce crime and the fear of crime which negatively impacts the quality of life for our residents. In order to focus additional concentrated law enforcement resources in preventing gun violence, violent crimes, and narcotic use, the Bradenton Police Department will use a portion of the available JAG funding to pay for overtime costs. The overtime dollars will add supplemental enforcement initiatives citywide. The Bradenton Police Department lacks the resources to accomplish these tasks without overtime expenditure. The Bradenton Police Department will task officers, detectives, and supervisors to specifically concentrate their efforts on these crimes with the overall goal of making the City of Bradenton a better place in which to live work and conduct business.
- 16 binoculars $ 1,360
- 4 night vision cameras $ 5,700
- 8 portable Wi-Fi cameras $ 2,000
- 1 covert audio system $ 1,500
- 5 covert cameras $ 2,500
Equipment Total $ 13,060
- Supplemental Enforcement Activity (overtime) $ 11,428
Total Fiscal Year 2018 JAG Budget $ 24,488