The city of Little Rock has announced that Pulaski County has received $2.8 million in federal justice money and that LR will spend its $1.9 million share on planning, evaluation and technology, specifically required upgrades records management software.
I guess it's pointless to mention cops and jail cells.
PS -- I should be clearer in my sarcasm. I know this money can't go for people and jails. But I can wish, can't I? Meanwhile, Chief Stuart Thomas does inform me that he is hopeful about an application for $2 million in federal money that, if it comes through, would add 20 officers to the force. Now we're talking.
Also, Mayor Stodola adds a comment:
I should also mention to you that late last year we received 7 new police officer positions through a Justice Dept. grant. Those officers are currently in basic training and should be ready for the streets in June sometime. This is in addition to the recruitment we normally do to replace troops lost through attrition, both retirement and resignation. We have just decided on the amount of money we will go after for additional COPS funding.(police officers) Importantly, while this is federal money completely for entry level salaries for 3 yrs, we have an obligation to continue funding for at least one yr following the expiration of the funding. Hence, we had the difficult task of calculating increased revenue streams looking into the uncertain economic future.
CITY NEWS RELEASE
Little Rock – April 7, 2009) Mayor Mark Stodola and Police Chief Stuart Thomas were joined by City Directors Joan Adcock and Ken Richardson, City Manager Bruce T. Moore, and members of the Little Rock Police Department today as the City announced its plans for the Recovery Act Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program.
The allocation is for $2,897,792 to grouping of Little Rock, North Little Rock, Jacksonville, Maumelle, Sherwood, and Pulaski County. The Mayor noted, “This grouping is determined by the Justice Department and funding is made based on costs of prosecution or incarceration. The local governments submit a joint application and must complete a Memo of Understanding for the application process.”
An agreement has been reached wherein the LRPD acts as a Fiscal Agent for the project and will submit the joint application. Funds will be distributed as follows:
Little Rock -- $1,907,580 – 65.83%
North Little Rock -- $495,342 – 17.09%
Jacksonville -- $146,917 – 5.07%
Maumelle -- $30,236 – 1.04%
Sherwood -- $66,835 – 2.31%
Pulaski County -- $250,882 – 8.66%
Each of these agencies will identify planning, evaluation, and technology improvement programs for the grant monies. Little Rock has traditionally used the JAG and Block Grant funding for technology improvements such as deployment of patrol car audio/video recording, wireless data transmission to patrol cars, and crime analysis systems mapping.
According to Chief Thomas, “The Little Rock Police Department will use these funds this time to update and enhance the Department’s Records Management Software – which is critical for crime analysis and efficient resource deployment. It is also mandated by National Incident Based Reporting System reporting.”
The breakdown on the use of these funds would be computer software: $745,500, computer hardware: $600,000, and an IT Programmer Position: $200,000 (over a three year period). This leaves $357,580 remaining. This will be sufficient to add this new system to the Mid-Town Police Facility as it is built.
The Chief noted that the Arkansas Crime Information Center mandated that all Arkansas law enforcement agencies convert from the traditional Uniform Crime Reporting standard to the FBI’s NIBRS by the end of 2008. Little Rock received a waiver through the end of 2009, but the conversion must be made by that time. The City’s Records Management System was created in 1990 and cannot be converted to this new format.
The new software will not only satisfy the new NIBRS, but will also allow the LRPD to participate in the FBI’s N-DEX data sharing system which would be utilized as both a regional and national incident and arrest repository. In addition NIBRS will eventually be required for any agency submitting federal grant requests.
City Manager Bruce T. Moore said, “This new software will pay dividends for the City for years to come.”