By Middlesex County Freeholder Deputy Director Ronald G. Rios, chair, Law and Public Safety Committee
The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office often works with local law enforcement agencies to address the safety concerns of the residents of Middlesex County. The latest example of this can be seen in an innovative grant program that combats issues that negatively impact our residents’ quality of life.
Through the “Law Enforcement Response to Community Concerns Grant” program, the Prosecutor’s Office is offering local law enforcement agencies supplemental funding to combat certain quality-of-life issues, such as bias, bullying and graffiti, which can adversely affect the lives of the residents within their municipalities.
This grant provides up to $5,000 in funding to each of the County’s 25 municipal law enforcement agencies, the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Department and the Rutgers University Police Department. To fund the program, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce H. Kaplan, with the approval of the State Office of the Attorney General, is allocating a total of $135,000 in funds that were seized from criminal defendants who had obtained proceeds though illegal activities, such as selling drugs.
The funding can be used to cover additional law enforcement personnel or resources, to purchase educational materials and arrange guest speakers to address students or other community groups, or for the implementation of other approved concepts that would help improve the quality of life within the municipality.
The program encourages local law enforcement agencies to reach out to members of the community and identify their specific concerns, as well as analyze existing reports to identify types and areas within their community where quality of life issues need to be addressed.
The “Law Enforcement Response to Community Concerns Grant” is one way that we can help our local police departments enhance their efforts. As the chair of the County’s Law and Public Safety Committee, I would like to thank Prosecutor Kaplan and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office for making this grant available to all of our municipalities and for helping the members of our local law enforcement team to better protect and serve the residents of Middlesex County.
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