HOWELL – The township council recently approved a resolution accepting a $60,000 grant sub-award from the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety for the Safe and Secure Communities Program.
According to the Department of Law and Public Safety, the Safe and Secure Communities Program, implemented in 1993, “is designed to provide municipalities with funding to add law enforcement personnel vital to effective police operations and other crime related strategies as warranted by the needs of the community.”
The grant’s funding will allow the township to supply additional officers or non-police support staff to “free-up” officers for other direct law enforcement.
“Currently, there are approximately 160 municipalities receiving funds for 345 officers and 13 non-police support staff,” stated the department.
The township applied for the grant, which is reviewed by the Division of Criminal Justice. This Division decides who and where to allocate funds.
“The $60,000 is given to the Township to offset salary costs of the officer designated under the grant over a 15-month period…We have received this grant for several years now and is continuously renewed by the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General for the township,” said Chief Financial Officer Lou Palazzo.
The project is a joint effort between the township and the state that intends to use the money to fund ways of curtailing the opioid epidemic in the township, according to Palazzo.
With this resolution, the township has accepted the award of $60,000 to be matched by $197,736, for a total project cost of $257,736.
“The $197,000 “match” is the remainder of the officer’s salary plus a 45 percent allowance for fringe benefits,” such as social security, and health benefits, said Palazzo.
What makes this a match is that it is the amount that the town is appropriating to receive the $60,000 grant.