Nine agencies in the High Country are among the 437 programs that will receive money from the North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced on Tuesday that $73 million in grants will go to support criminal justice programs. The grants will fund innovative programs focused on issues including opioids, domestic violence, child trafficking, juvenile justice and delinquency prevention, inmate re-entry, and services to crime victims.
“Keeping North Carolina safe means preventing crime, helping crime victims recover, and working to end addiction and repeat offenders,” Gov. Cooper said. “Innovative public safety efforts in communities across our state are tackling these issues on the ground.”
Among the 437 programs awarded 2017 grants are:
- Teen courts in Mecklenburg, McDowell and Robeson County to divert young people from crime.
- Drug treatment court for veterans in Cumberland County.
- Assistance for victims of elder abuse in Guilford County.
- Help for victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault in several counties including Alamance, Caswell, Buncombe, Guilford, Wake, Watauga, Avery, Onslow, Cumberland, Haywood and Cherokee counties.
- Help for child victims in several counties including Pasquotank, Gaston, Jackson, Macon, Buncombe, Union, Caldwell, Ashe, Burke, Yancey, Mitchell and New Hanover counties.
- More firearms analysis through the State Crime Lab.
- Specialized narcotics training for law enforcement.
- Assistance to dozens of law enforcement agencies and prosecutors, to update technology and equipment and to target perpetrators of specific crimes such as domestic violence and human trafficking.
- More than $3 million for legal aid for poor North Carolinians.
- Funding for local organizations that provide mental health treatment.
More specifically, the High Country agencies receiving funds in 2017 are:
Boone Police Department – $24,265.00
Blue Ridge Children's Advocacy Center – Watauga and Avery Counties – $317,061.89
Watauga Area OASIS Regional Spanish Language Crisis Line – $103,846.40
Ashe County SASP – $21,751.00
Ashe County DV/SA Specialized Mental Health Services – $100,000.00
West Jefferson Police Department – Computer Replacements $24,313.66
Total – $146,064.66
Avery County Sheriff's Office – Operation Cleanup – $24,483.00
Beech Mountain Police Department – In-car Video/Audio Camera and Viper Radio – $20,228.50
Avery SO Project Protect Victims of Abuse – $51,747.72
Total – $96,459.22
In addition to awarding 2017 grants, the commission also set priorities for its 2018 grants at a quarterly meeting held September 7. Voting on the reports presented by the Juvenile Justice, Crime Victim’s Services and Criminal Justice Improvement committees, the 43 commission members set in motion Gov. Cooper’s 2018 agenda for criminal justice system priorities and program initiatives.
“The recommendations and priorities set forth for 2018 by the Commission show North Carolina’s commitment to ensuring our communities are strengthened and remain a safe place to live, work and visit,” said Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks.
The Commission serves as the chief advisory body to the governor and the secretary of the Department of Public Safety on crime and justice issues. It is a comprehensive criminal justice system planning agency that awards state funds and federal block grants to government, education and social service agencies to start new and innovative programs in North Carolina.
The Commission currently administers more than $180 million dollars in federal funds, along with approximately $5 million in state appropriated funds. These funds have been awarded as grants to local law enforcement, courts, corrections, juvenile justice and victims’ services agencies across the state.
“I commend fellow members for their diligence,” said Commission Chairman Robert Evans. “The Commission represents a broad cross-section of society, professionals and support organizations working together to administer millions of dollars in federal and state funds. These funds are appropriated annually to improve the criminal and juvenile justice systems, as well as to enhance and improve services to victims of crime.”