Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle joined representatives from Loyola Medicine, local municipalities and elected officials to announce $458,322 in funding to law enforcement agencies and nonprofit organizations around Cook County through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program administered by the County’s Department of Emergency Management and Regional Security (EMRS).
“Our most basic responsibility as government is to ensure the safety of all residents and visitors to Cook County,” said Preckwinkle. “And our commitment is to look at all applicants through an equitable lens, ensuring funding is going to those who need it most. This past year has not been an easy one. I am grateful for all of our first responders for their dedication to keeping all residents safe.”
Loyola Medicine is one of 10 recipients receiving JAG awards this year. Loyola was awarded $60,000 to fund life-saving activities associated with their Law Enforcement Narcan Program. EMRS partnered with Loyola Medicine to launch the program in 2018, awarding close to $500,000 in JAG funding since its inception. Loyola Medicine uses this funding to purchase Narcan and tourniquets for more than 30 law enforcement agencies.
“We know that many times police are first on the scene of an overdose and administering Narcan as quickly as possible can mean the difference between life and death,” said Mark E. Cichon, D.O., FACEP/FACOEP, professor and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and division director of the Emergency Medical Services at Loyola University Medical Center. “We are grateful to Cook County for providing the funding to allow us to train law enforcement and provide them with this life-saving antidote.”
JAG funding is designed to support critical public safety needs. This is the County’s 10th year awarding funding through the program.
“When evaluating projects for JAG funding, ERMS looks for ways we can make a meaningful impact in the communities that need it most,” said William Barnes, executive director of EMRS. “The Law Enforcement Narcan Program is a wonderful example of how nonprofits and law enforcement agencies can work together to literally save lives throughout our County.”
Other JAG recipients include:
- Forest Park Police Department was awarded $15,000 to purchase 15 body-worn camera main controller units.
- Country Club Hills Police Department was awarded $25,000 to purchase one police vehicle.
- Robbins Police Department was awarded $25,000 to purchase one police vehicle.
- Chicagoland Prison Outreach was awarded $25,000 to fund a 16-week carpentry apprenticeship program that provides educational and prevention programming to train returning citizens in the trade of carpentry. The program includes intensive case management, drug recovery classes, mentoring, trauma coaching, job readiness and other life skill classes. Two classes are offered per year and serve between 45-55 returning citizens.
- The Village of Phoenix Police Department was awarded $30,000 to purchase one police vehicle.
- Leave No Veteran Behind was awarded $50,000 to help support program administration, including recruitment and training for 86 veterans and youth.
- South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force was awarded $63,365 to purchase technology that helps with downloading video and digital evidence from surveillance and cell phones. This funding will ultimately assist 43 municipalities and police departments.
- North Regional Major Crimes Task Force was awarded $80,927 to purchase Gray Key, the digital forensics extraction tool as well as its related processing and analytical software, Axiom. This program will assist the 12 agencies that make up the task force during investigations of major crimes.
- McDermott Center (Haymarket Center) was awarded $84,030 to assist 40 Cook County adults actively involved in the criminal justice system who are living with a substance use disorder (SUD). This program ultimately reduces recidivism and enhances reentry for a safe County. Clients will participate in an evidence-based curriculum that demonstrates the move from criminal thinking patterns towards prosocial thinking patterns.
The JAG program provides municipalities with funding for:
- Law enforcement
- Prosecution and court programs
- Prevention and education programs
- Corrections and community corrections
- Drug treatment and enforcement
- Crime victim and witness awareness
- Planning, evaluation and technology improvement programs
Applicants submitted a budget and budget narrative outlining how JAG funds would be used to support and implement the program. Successful applicants entered into a sub-grant agreement with EMRS to receive funding. Local law enforcement agencies and nonprofit entities within Cook County were eligible to apply.
For more information about the Department of Emergency Management and Regional Security, visit their website.