The East Texas Council of Governments has announced that several Panola County-area agencies are among 38 to receive a total of $4.5 million in public safety-related grants from the Governor’s Public Safety Office.
The funding is intended to “promote strategies that improve public safety, support victims of crime, prevent terrorism and prepare communities for the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk to Texans,” ETCOG said.
The Governor’s Office approved a total of $4,594,151.92 for funding the Victims of Crime Act, Justice Assistance, Violence Against Women Act, Juvenile Assistance and Homeland Security grants in East Texas, ETCOG said.
The Women’s Center of East Texas received $300,000 for its domestic violence and sexual assault rural nonresidential services as part of the Victims of Crime Act program. The Crime Victims Assistance Grant Program (VOCA) devotes resources to providing direct services to victims of crime to help them recover and to navigate the justice system, ETCOG said.
The East Texas Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse also received $450,000 for its Operation Turnaround and transitional housing programs under that program.
Panola County received a $25,000 Justice Assistance Grant for its patrol fleet project. The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG) promotes public safety efforts, crime reduction and system improvements, ETCOG said.
Also under the JAG grant program, the City of Carthage received $24,000 for P25 radios.
ETCOG received $48,192 in pass-through grants for regional evaluation services for juveniles as part of the Criminal Justice Planning Fund No. 421. The fund “fills in the gaps throughout all areas of the criminal justice system and supports innovative concepts and best practices to achieve a safer Texas for all citizens,” ETCOG said.
ETCOG also received $80,000 for a smart 911 reverse emergency alert notification system for use by regional jurisdictions as part of the Office of the Governor’s Homeland Security Grants Division awards, which are given to prevent terrorism and improve security.
The City of Carthage also received a $17,472.87 grant under the homeland security grant program for mobile radios and base radios.
“Every year, the Office of the Governor funds opportunities that are invaluable to the ETCOG region,” ETCOG’s Public Safety Director, Stephanie Heffner said. “Funding received helps jurisdictions, nonprofits, district attorney offices, juvenile probation departments, and institutions of higher education. Funding also allows agencies to provide resources, equip, sustain and better serve East Texas.”