MONDAY, AUGUST 10, 1998202/307-0703

Alaska to Receive Over $300,000 for Local Law Enforcement Efforts

8 Local Jurisdictions in State Eligible to Receive over $1.2 Million

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As part of the effort to reduce crime and improve public safety in local jurisdictions, the Justice Department announced today it will award $371,612 to Alaska. The funding, under the Local Law Enforcement Block Grants Program (LLEBG), is administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).

BJA, the Justice Department's primary funding source for law enforcement and criminal justice system improvement, supports implementation of comprehensive criminal justice strategies developed by each state and territory. BJA also supports state and local efforts through testing innovative approaches in preventing and controlling crime.

"These funds will help Alaska to build on efforts initiated with the past two year's LLEBG grants," said BJA Director Nancy Gist. "Over the past two years, states and local jurisdictions have significantly strengthened their responses to crime through this program. We look forward to continuing our work with the states through the LLEBG program to assist them to prevent crime and make their streets safer."

Based on the program's formula as established by Congress, jurisdictions are awarded a specific amount based on the level of the most serious, violent crimes. Jurisdictions whose award would be $10,000 or more receive funds directly from BJA. The aggregate of all of the awards smaller than $10,000 is provided to the state. Alaska intends to use the funds to provide enhanced law enforcement services and direct awards to jurisdictions that did not qualify for direct awards.

In addition to this direct state award, 8 jurisdictions in Alaska are eligible for awards totaling over $1.2 million to reduce crime and improve public safety. Among the larger awards are $667,125 for Anchorage, $371,612 for the Alaska State Troopers and $83,650 for Fairbanks. These awards will be made later this year.

The State of Alaska has decided to use its 1998 LLEBG funds for projects through the Alaska State Troopers, including: contracting a civilian polygraph examiner for one year, purchasing a surveyor's electronic distance measuring instrument for crime scene investigation and hiring a computer technician for one year.

For further information at the state level, please contactCatherine Katsel with the State of Alaska at 907/269-5082.

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BJA 98-188-AL

After hours contact: Doug Johnson or James Phillips at 1-888/582-6753 (pager)