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Byrne Justice Assistance Grant to Split Between Lehigh County Sheriff’s Office and Adult Probation
(Allentown, PA)- Pennsylvania’s Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) recently awarded the County of Lehigh a $50,000 grant through the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG). The recipients will be the County Sheriff’s Office and Adult Probation.
JAG provides seed money to assist state and local government entities in implementing a wide range of drug enforcement, correctional treatment/supervision, victim services, juvenile justice and criminal justice system improvement projects, according to PCCD.
The Sheriff’s Office will utilize the grant to procure a Use of Force training simulator to enhance and improve firearm safety and proficiency among county personnel who must carry and qualify with their firearms.
The simulator will be strategically situated so that multiple county departments can utilize it, including the Sheriff’s Office and Adult Probation.
Lehigh County Sheriff’s Office is responsible for the protection of over 2,000 employees across multiple sites and residents who utilize these facilities. They consist of two courthouses with 14 courtrooms, a government center, 14 Magisterial District Courts, two correctional facilities, and two county-run nursing homes.
“I’m extremely grateful for the grant funding. This firearm simulator will be a critical resource in ensuring the safety and security of our county and its facilities, and further capacitate our staff to successfully respond to any situation,” said Sheriff Joe Hanna. “In this era, where public facilities are often the target of threats, it’s important that those charged with our safety are afforded every training opportunity,” he concluded.
Lehigh County Adult Probation will also be putting the grant to use to further improve the safety and proficiency of its staff.
They will be procuring additional body armor, tasers and jackets to properly identify adult probation personnel.
Two staff will be sent to either Minnesota or Indiana to become trainers for domestic violence groups which will double the number of county personnel with training in the field.
They will be trained in the “Duluth Model” which prioritizes a collective community reaction to domestic violence that focuses on the safety of the abused, formulates collaboration across agencies and change opportunities for offenders through court-ordered educational programs.
Four officers will join the East Coast Gang Investigators Association. The grant helped to finance these departmental enhancements.
Ann Marie Egizio, Chief Adult Probation Officer, said “This grant will be instrumental in providing my department with access to training that will further our ability to protect the community and reduce recidivism.”
The Criminal Justice Advisory Committee- JAG award is designed to support highly effective, evidence-based policy and practice. The application process requires a detailed description and careful consideration of the impact funding will have on these practices.
Information provided to TVL by:
Public Information Officer
County of Lehigh, Office of the County Executive
17 S. 7th Street, 4th Floor, Suite 436
Allentown, PA 18101