The Office of Criminal Justice Programs recently announced a deadline extension for local jails and courts to apply for federal grants through the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program, and the White County jail plans to take advantage of the opportunity.
“The [White County] sheriff’s office is applying for the jail and local law enforcement grants,” Cami Howard, jail administrator, stated.
The federal funding remains available for local law enforcement agencies, jails, and courts for expenses related to COVID-19 and will be provided to assist in preventing, preparing for and responding to the pandemic. Tennessee has $4,250,000 available for distribution among its local communities. The deadline for local law enforcement was July 24, but jails and courts may take advantage of the deadline extension and need to apply by July 31.
“We’re extending the deadline for application for two of these opportunities, as we need more local jails and courts to apply for them as we know this has been an unprecedented challenge for our local public safety professionals,” OCJP Director Jennifer Brinkman said. “We are glad to offer this grant opportunity and are extending specific deadlines in the hopes we can help get this funding to our counties.”
Allowable projects and purchases for the supplemental funding program include equipment (such as technology for remote hearings/appearances and personal protective equipment), supplies (gloves, masks, sanitizer, etc.), training and travel expenses (particularly related to the distribution of resources to the most impacted areas). While additional purchases may be acceptable, there are some restrictions, and funding cannot be used to supplant local funds or to make up for budget shortfalls.
There are three opportunities available and eligible entities may apply for any or all of them:
(1) Local Law Enforcement (including campus): The intent to apply and application for local law enforcement must be completed prior to 4:30 p.m. CDT on July 24, 2020. Grants of up to $10,000 may be awarded under this solicitation.
(2) Local Courts: The intent to apply and application for local courts must be completed prior to 4:30 p.m. CDT on July 31, 2020. Grants of up to $10,000 may be awarded under this solicitation.
(3) Local Jails: Applications must be completed prior to 4:30 p.m. CDT on July 31, 2020. Grants of up to $20,000 may be awarded under this solicitation.
Approved recipients will be issued a one-year contract so that funds can be applied to expenses incurred between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. Successful applicants will receive their contract by approximately Sept. 1, 2020, however, COVID-19 expenses from July and August may be applied to the grant.
Police Chief Doug Goff stated that Sparta Police Department will not be applying for the grant and calls to the White County Clerk’s Office were not returned by press time.