The Justice Department is announcing a surge in grants for public safety programs in states and cities, including many grappling with a dramatic rise in homicides, CNN reports. The Office of Justice Programs said that hundreds of communities and organizations are being awarded or are eligible to receive a slice of $1.6 billion in grant awards to support a wide range of programs designed to reduce violent crime. Among those grants for fiscal year 2021, the Justice Assistance Grant program will share more than $271.9 million -- $187 million to 56 state law enforcement agencies and over $84.9 million to more than 900 cities and counties. The budget for the JAG program increased from fiscal year 2020, when $235 million was awarded. JAG funds can be used to support a broad range of activities, which may include "multijurisdictional drug and gang task forces, crime prevention and domestic violence programs, courts, corrections, treatment, justice information sharing initiatives, or other programs aimed at reducing crime and/or enhancing public/officer safety.
Among the cities and their surrounding areas on the grants list: Chicago was awarded $2,407,095 and Seattle got $771,127. Philadelphia is eligible for $1,499,662; Baltimore can receive $1,364,052; New York City is eligible for $4,095,916 and Los Angeles may collect $2,692,835. Minneapolis' Hennepin County -- where four former police officers were charged in connection with George Floyd's murder and ex-cop Kim Potter was recently convicted for causing the death of Daunte Wright, got $590,659. The largest JAG state recipients include $19,447,453 to California's Board of State and Community Corrections, $14,531,729 to the office for the Governor of Texas, and $10,886,155 to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.