Law Enforcement Planning Commission (LEPC) Director Ray A. Martinez has announced that the agency was awarded $638,248 by the U.S. Department of Justice’s FY2020 STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program (VAWA). LEPC submitted its application on behalf of the territory in April 2020.
The Law Enforcement Planning Commission serves as the State Administrative Agency (SAA) for the distribution of federal funds earmarked for local criminal justice agencies, nonprofits, social service agencies and faith-based organizations. The State Administrative Agency funding fosters territorial partnerships among police, prosecutors, judges, victim advocates, health care providers, faith leaders and organizations that serve underserved communities.
The STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant is primarily geared to provide victims with the protection and services they need to pursue safe and healthy lives while improving the community’s capacity to provide justice for victims and hold offenders accountable.
The VAWA grant is a vital resource that supports an array of specialized and innovative projects throughout the territory. Initiatives and projects include:
- Services specifically devoted to preventing, identifying, and responding to violent crimes against women;
- Training opportunities for law enforcement, court personnel, and victim service providers;
- Partnerships between law enforcement and victim service providers to provide compassionate outreach to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking; and
- Supporting prosecutors working closely with victim witness advocates, law enforcement, social service, and non-profit agencies.
The commission is glad about the opportunities this funding will provide established agencies and looks forward to funding new and innovative projects. Victim service providers interested in applying for funding are encouraged to contact the commission.