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Singleton Introduces Legislation to Aid Law Enforcement in Keeping New Jersey Streets Safe

Assemblyman Troy Singleton is proposing a “Safe Streets Law Enforcement Grant Program Fund” to help aid local law enforcement in meeting the safety needs of their community.

Under the provisions of the bill (A-4409), which was introduced last week, the Attorney General will issue grants annually from the fund to eligible municipalities to pay for one-time, non-recurring law enforcement related costs.

“Law enforcement communities all across our state are stretched thin by budget constraints and growing public safety concerns,” said Singleton (D-Burlington). “While every community’s needs are different, this program would allow law enforcement to seek additional funds to meet their unique needs, whether it be putting more patrolmen on the streets, increasing vigilance in the wake of new threats or providing much-needed equipment to boost safety and security.”

The grants would cover costs including, but not limited to:
1) purchase of new police equipment;
2) law enforcement officer training;
3) enactment of new public safety initiatives; and
4) law enforcement officer overtime costs.

Other than overtime costs and training, the grant money may not be used to pay for salaries or benefits, hiring new law enforcement officers, or any other personnel-related costs. The bill provides that the fund will consist of an annual appropriation by the Legislature from the General Fund and any other moneys made available to the fund.

The grant money will be allocated in accordance with the population of a municipality, based on the most recent federal decennial census data, as follows:
1) $150,000 to municipalities with 80,000 or more residents;
2) $100,000 to municipalities with at least 40,000 but less than 80,000 residents;
3) $75,000 to municipalities with at least 20,000 but less than 40,000 residents;
4) $50,000 to municipalities with at least 10,000 but less than 20,000 residents; and
5) $25,000 to municipalities with less than 10,000 residents.

The bill defines an “eligible municipality” as one that is not patrolled on a full-time basis by the Division of State Police. Under the bill, grant recipients are required to submit a report within 60 days of receipt of the grant money to detail the use of the grant and provide any other information as may be determined by the Attorney General.

The bill has been referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.