The Justice Department has awarded over $56M in grant funding through the agency’s Office of Justice Programs to enhance state, local and tribal law enforcement safety and wellness policies.
The grants will support law enforcement departments, local jurisdictions, technical assistance and research organizations in projects to protect the physical and mental health of the police, the DOJ said in a statement. “Law enforcement officers have high rates of on-the-job injury, psychological illness and suicide,” said Matt Dummermuth, OJP’s principal deputy assistant attorney general.
The OJP provided $29.8M to reimburse officers up to 50 percent for the cost of body armor vests, $12M for safety and wellness programs and another $12.2M for body-worn camera programs. Research programs for police and public safety, health and wellness also received over $2M in funding.
In 2017, the department recorded a five percent increase to more than 60,000 line-of-duty assaults against officers compared to incidents in 2016. The DOJ plans to release another grant for multi-disciplinary, scenario-based active shooter training to better protect and equip first responders across the country.