November 2nd, 2017
The House Judiciary Committee approved by voice vote Thursday the Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act.
The bill, introduced by Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R- Va.-10th), establishes a grant program to provide resources to state and local law enforcement agencies to combat gang activity in their communities, authorizing $50 million annually for fiscal 2018 through fiscal 2020.
The bill will steer 30 percent of the $50 million to established gang task forces like the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force.
In a prepared statement, Comstock said she wanted to thank Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R) and the members of the Judiciary Committee for passing the legislation.
“The resurgence of MS-13 in Northern Virginia has led to at least eight murders over the past year tied to MS-13 and other gangs, representing a 166 percent increase over last year,” Comstock said. “The Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act will provide vital resources to established regional gang task forces like the one we have here in Northern Virginia so that these brave men and women can get MS-13 off of our streets. I look forward to the bill soon being voted on in the full House,” she added.
Jay Lanham, executive director of the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force, thanked Comstock for her efforts to return “much-needed funding to the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Force.”
“The growing gang problem in Northern Virginia, and throughout the country, is a serious threat and must be addressed head on,” Lanham said in a prepared statement. “But, it is not a law enforcement problem alone. Intervention/Prevention/Education programs are direly needed as well. These programs, in conjunction with enforcement activities, have proven to be very successful in the past and funding is urgently needed. We enthusiastically urge Congress to support this bill for passage,” he added.
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