Applications close Feb. 24
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 30, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced that applications are now open for the federal Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program. The program will provide almost $500,000 funding to organizations working to reduce violent crime, with a priority on crime prevention for youth in Western Kentucky.
“To create a better Kentucky for generations to come, we must continue to invest in programs focused on enhancing public safety," Gov. Beshear said. “The federal Project Safe Neighborhoods provides funding so we can lower crime rates while providing alternatives that promote safe, successful lives."
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) PSN Program is a nationwide initiative that brings together federal, state, law enforcement officials, prosecutors, community-based partners and other stakeholders to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in a community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. PSN is coordinated by the U.S. Attorneys' Offices in the 94 federal districts throughout the 50 states and U.S. territories. Kentucky's program is led by Michael A. Bennett, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, based in Louisville.
“Project Safe Neighborhoods is the Department's flagship program designed to effectively reduce violent crime and gun violence," said U.S. Attorney Bennett. “PSN's core principles of fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results, bring together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to decrease violent crime. I encourage community organizations and law enforcement agencies throughout our 53 counties to apply for funding and utilize their expertise to make our communities safer for all citizens."
Priority funding will be awarded to youth-serving organizations that provide prevention programming; mental health and social services assistance for at-risk individuals; crime prevention training, de-escalation training and community training for law enforcement officers; gang task forces; and equipment, services and technology for law enforcement.
“This federal funding is another tool to help not only rebuild a stronger Western Kentucky after the deadly storms in 2021, but a safer one," said Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Kerry Harvey. “A community that is working to identify and combat the root causes of crime, and provide much needed services in the area of mental health and social services will have far reaching impacts for our state."
The U.S. Attorney's Office of the Western District of Kentucky has designated the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet to review applicants and assist with the subawards.
All grant activities are managed through the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet's Electronic Grants Management System, also known as Intelligrants 10.0 (IGX). Applications should be submitted via IGX. Applicants must establish user accounts at http://kyjusticeigx.intelligrants.com. Please note validation of new user accounts will take 48-72 business hours. Applications must be submitted no later than Friday, February 24, 2023 at 6:00 pm ET.
Beshear-Coleman Administration Commitment to Making Kentucky a National Leader in Public Safety
The Beshear-Coleman administration's top priority is the safety of all Kentuckians. The Governor's public safety actions are creating safer communities and a better Kentucky now and into the future.
Since taking office, Gov. Beshear has awarded almost $8 million in grant funding to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in purchasing the tools and resources that will not only allow them to protect Kentucky communities but will also ensure their safety as they stand on the front lines every day. Recently, the administration announced nearly $2 million in grant funding to enhance public safety, curb the sale of illegal drugs and fight addiction.
The recently enacted bipartisan state budget signed by Gov. Beshear allows the commonwealth to take additional steps to make Kentucky a leader in public safety by enhancing law enforcement training, creating safer communities and improving the safety of both law enforcement officers and Kentuckians. In July, the Governor announced additional steps to enhance public and officer safety, including funding for a new firearms training facility, a Western Kentucky training site feasibility study and an increased training stipend for law enforcement officers.
In October, the administration took another step forward in creating safer communities by awarding more than $350,000 in grant funding to prevent youth crime across the commonwealth.
In June, Gov. Beshear announced the Military to Law Enforcement Program (M-2-LE). M-2-LE allows local law enforcement agencies in Kentucky to hire active service members within all U.S. military branches during their last 180 days of service. Upon being contracted by a law enforcement agency, the military member will continue to receive their pay and benefits from the U.S. Military while they undergo law enforcement training at the Department of Criminal Justice Training.
In April, the Governor signed legislation he championed the previous year that funds a $15,000 raise for all troopers and a starting pay increase for sworn officers from $37,887 to $55,888 annually. In signing Senate Bill 209, Gov. Beshear established paid vacation, sick leave and holiday pay, as well as enhanced health insurance contribution payments for retired KSP troopers and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers.
Also, as the Governor recommended in January 2022, $12.2 million was included in the state budget for KSP to purchase body cameras, which is the first time in the commonwealth's history that funding has been allocated for this much-needed expense.
The Governor has also supported legislative action like Senate Bill 64 and House Bill 254, making it easier for law enforcement to conduct undercover stings and increase the chances of stopping a horrific crime against a child from being facilitated through the internet. These actions will also give law enforcement officers the authority to charge offenders with harsher crimes to keep them away from the public, preventing further interactions with Kentucky's most vulnerable population.