Federal funding coming to Louisiana to address crime, Crime Lab backlog
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Millions of dollars are headed to Louisiana to help address the state’s growing crime rate.
U.S. Congressman Garret Graves announced the award of seven grants to help improve and expand Louisiana’s law enforcement solutions from the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The funds will help identify, arrest, and reduce violent gangs and drug dealers across the state.
“We want to live and raise our kids in safe communities, but crime is one of the top reasons folks leave Louisiana,” said Graves.
Part of the money will go to Louisiana State Police to help with the agency’s backlog of cases. Thousands of criminal cases remain unsolved due to a backlog of DNA tests, but leaders hope the new grant will speed up the process.
LSP will receive $312,708 to expedite forensic evidence processing and eliminate a backlog. The funding can also be used to train, assist, and employ forensic laboratory personnel to eliminate processing backlogs.
“In many cases there is a one-year backlog in processing evidence,” said Graves.
Graves said this will help police hold criminals accountable much sooner.
In 2021, Graves secured congressional funding to add an additional DNA processing center in the Capitol Region to address this backlog.
“They’ve told me stories where they might have someone that committed a crime and got out on bond, and while they’re out on bond they get arrested for a second crime and get let out again, and even in some cases a third crime or more,” said Graves.
Grants benefitting Louisiana’s 6th Congressional District include:
- $41,007 for the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office to crack down on gun crimes and violent criminal offenders.
- $320,721 for Terrebonne Parish to develop, implement, and expand comprehensive programs to respond to the overdose crisis.
- $20,395 for the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office to purchase new technology systems to assist with crime prevention, solving criminal cases, and locating people involved in criminal activity.
- The Louisiana State Police are receiving two grants: $3,418,156 for the Anti-Heroin Task Force (AHTF) Program and $2,000,000 for the Anti-Methamphetamine Program (CAMP).
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