Jon Tester

09/21/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/21/2020 18:19

Tester Secures $305,000 for Drug Taskforces, Crime Prevention for Ten Montana Towns, Tribes

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced $305,596 in Department of Justice Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) Program funds to ten Montana towns, Tribes, and counties to support local law enforcement's drug taskforces and crime prevention efforts.

'During this pandemic, Montana's first responders and law enforcement have been asked to do more with less, and they have risen to the challenge by working overtime to keep our communities safe,' said Tester. 'The bottom line is we need to get them the tools they need to do their jobs, and this funding will provide much-needed backup to Montana's local law enforcement as they work to keep our communities safe and drugs off our streets.'

The funds secured by Tester will be allocated to the following towns, Tribes, and counties:

  • Butte-Silver Bow: $18,949
  • Flathead County: $24,720
  • City of Kalispell: $10,120
  • City of Great Falls: $31,610
  • City of Helena: $39,104
  • City of Billings: $84,237
  • City of Missoula: $58,440
  • Gallatin County: $11,456
  • Blackfeet Tribe: $15,461
  • Chippewa Cree Tribe-Rocky Boy: $11,499

The Byrne JAG Program provides states, tribes, and local governments with critical funding necessary to support a range of program areas including law enforcement, prosecution, indigent defense, courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, planning, evaluation, technology improvement, and crime victim and witness initiatives and mental health programs and related law enforcement and corrections programs, including behavioral programs and crisis intervention teams.

As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Tester has been a strong supporter of the Byrne JAG Program and a staunch advocate for local crime prevention initiatives. Last month, Tester backed legislation that would formally declare meth use an emerging drug threat and require the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to create a plan to combat its use and prevent overdoses. He urged on President Trump's ONDCP Director and Attorney General Barr to work together to address the issue and has advocated for additional funding for the ONDCP. Tester has secured funding for drug taskforces in Montana through the COPS Anti-Meth program, Byrne JAG, and HIDTA, and secured a $1 million grant to help local officials stem the flow of meth and other dangerous drugs into Montana communities.