MONTGOMERY – Gov. Robert Bentley has awarded a $125,000 grant to the Alabama Office of Prosecution Services to support an innovative partnership to reduce Calhoun County’s crime rate through community policing.
The Office of Prosecution Services, the Seventh Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office and Jacksonville State University’s Center for Best Practices in Law Enforcement are partnering together to develop and implement new methods and training to help law enforcement officers reduce crime in areas of the county with high crime rates.
“Community residents deserve to feel safe in their communities and to have trusting relationships with the law enforcement officers who protect them,” Bentley said. “I am pleased to support this partnership that aims to develop new and even better methods to help our law enforcement officers to serve and protect their communities in an increasingly complex world.”
The Center for Best Practices in Law Enforcement will work with the county’s Violent Crime Eradication Team as a test site for innovative law enforcement organizational changes, policies and procedures to address the increasingly complex public safety challenges of today’s world. The team will work to reduce the crime rate in the area by 15 percent and develop an in-the-field training program for officers. Once implemented in Calhoun County, program officials say the training and methods could be taught to police and sheriffs’ departments across the state.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant from funds made available to the state by the U.S. Department of Justice. ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement and traffic safety, workforce development, water resource management, economic development, energy conservation and recreation development.
“Our law enforcement officers work tirelessly to reduce crime and keep our communities safe, and this program will help develop methods for officers to perform their duties even more effectively,” ADECA Director Jim Byard Jr. said. “ADECA’s partnership with the Office of Prosecution Services, the District Attorney’s Office and JSU is a great example of a proactive effort to create better community practices for both police and residents. By working together, we can better protect our citizens.”
Bentley notified Barry Matson, Office of Prosecution Services assistant director, the grant had been approved.
Contact: Russell Sellers, Mike Presley