Date: Sept. 23, 2020

WHITE PLAINS, NY -- Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Rockland-Westchester), Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, today announced that Westchester County has been awarded $103,345 from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)'s Bureau of Justice Assistance Agency under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program. Additionally, she announced the Westchester District Attorney's Office has been awarded $451,041 from the DOJ's Office for Victims of Crime through the Enhanced Collaborative Model Task Force to Combat Human Trafficking Program. These grants will enable the county to more adequately combat crime and treat trafficking victims across Westchester.

"With this funding, local law enforcement will be able to focus on drug prevention and treatment programs, as well as crucial social services for victims of human trafficking," said Congresswoman Lowey. "I am grateful these resources will be put to good use across Westchester for trainings and other programs to help survivors of violence. This essential investment in public safety and welfare will serve our communities for years to come."

"Congresswoman Nita Lowey has always been an advocate for Westchester County -- this grant is just another example of that dedication," said Westchester County Executive George Latimer. The Byrne Grant funds will specifically assist our County Department of Public Safety's Narcotics Unit as well as Yonkers, Mount Vernon and New Rochelle PD to fund investigations into the distribution and sale of fentanyl in Westchester. Keeping our streets safer and aiming to stem the scourge of these deadly narcotics in our backyard."

"Human trafficking is an insidious crime which preys upon some of our most vulnerable, and during this pandemic, we know there are more vulnerable people than ever before," said Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr. "We thank Congresswoman Nita Lowey for her continued commitment to the safety of Westchester residents and for helping secure this Department of Justice grant, which will enhance the collaborative work done by this Office and our partner agencies to combat human trafficking and support victims of these crimes. The money will go toward strengthening programs in training, education, and outreach to law enforcement and victim service agencies."

In July, as Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Lowey led in the proposed Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee bill to allocate $50 million and $27.2 million withing Byrne JAG for DOJ. The $50 million in funds is to be used for training for state and local law enforcement on racial profiling, implicit bias, de-escalation, use of force, and the $27.2 is to be used for improving reporting on the use of force, complying with consent decrees and other reform measures, and creating local task forces on public safety innovation.