WASHINGTON -- Stimulus funds could soon be coming to local communities.
Rep. Brad Ellsworth recently announced that local law enforcement agencies in Putnam County are eligible for $69,037 in economic recovery funds from the U.S. Department of Justice.
The money is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which Congress passed last month.
Local law enforcement agencies will need to apply for the funding through the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program. Grants can be used for training, personnel, equipment, supplies and other law enforcement needs.
Ellsworth, the former Vanderburgh County Sheriff, applauded the announcement as relief for local law enforcement agencies that are facing tight budgets and rising crime rates in the current economic downturn.
However, he cautioned local officials to put the funds to good use.
"As a former Sheriff, I know from experience that economic downturns often result in fewer resources and more crime in our communities. That's a recipe for disaster for local law enforcement.
"These funds will bring local police forces some relief; providing critical funds to meet basic law enforcement needs and keep our communities safe," Ellsworth continued. "However, local officials have a responsibility to the taxpayers to ensure every penny is spent wisely. The priority must be saving or creating local jobs and meeting critical law enforcement needs."
To keep local, state, and federal officials accountable, the public can track how these and other economic recovery funds are spent online at www.recovery.gov