THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23, 1997202/307-0703

Northern Mariana Islands Receive Over $194,000 for Local Law Enforcement Efforts

WASHINGTON, D.C. --The Northern Mariana Islands were awarded $194,635 today under the Justice Department's Local Law Enforcement Block Grants Program. These funds will be used by the Northern Mariana Islands to reduce crime and improve public safety in local jurisdictions.

The Local Law Enforcement Block Grants Program, now in its second year, is administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the Justice Department agency that 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.

"The Northern Mariana Islands can use these funds to build on efforts initiated with last year's LLEBG grants," said BJA Director Nancy Gist. "We are proud to work with the states through the LLEBG program to assist them to prevent crime and make their streets safer."

Last year, the Northern Mariana Islands received over $180,000 under the LLEBG program.

The Omnibus Fiscal Year 1997 Appropriations Act, Public Law 104-208, provided $523 million for the Local Law Enforcement Block Grants Program. States have two years from the date of the initial award by BJA to expend the funds. At the end of that two-year period, the state must return remaining funds to BJA.

For further information at the state level, please contact Joaquin Ogumoro, Northern Mariana Islands Criminal Justice Planning Agency, at 670/664-4550.

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BJA 98-007-NMI

After hours page Doug Johnson at 1-888/582-6753