Justice Department awards more than $16 million to support criminal justice initiatives in the Western District Of New York

BUFFALO, NY – U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that the Justice Department has awarded grant funding to 26 municipalities, school districts and human service organizations totaling $16,440,491 to support criminal justice initiatives across the Western District of New York.

“Agencies in the Western District of New York have been granted a total of $16,440,491, including school districts, police departments, social service agencies, and local governments across the 17 counties in the district,” stated U.S. Attorney Ross. “This funding will address several issues impacting our communities, including gun violence, domestic violence, sexual assaults, and the mental health needs of children. Of significant importance, more than $7,000,000 will be spent on addressing the needs of victims of crimes, including $3,889,303, which will be used to provide services to those directly impacted by the Tops mass shooting tragedy that resulted in the deaths of 10 members of our community.” 

Grants have been awarded to address the following areas:

Victims Services:

  • The Community Health Center of Buffalo has been awarded $3,889,303 to provide services to those impacted by the mass shooting on May 14, 2022, in Buffalo.
  • Monroe County has been awarded $800,000 to continue improving the county’s criminal justice system response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
  • The YMCA of Jamestown has been awarded $600,000 to support the Justice for Families Program. The YWCA Jamestown will collaborate with the Unified Court System Eighth Judicial District, and the Salvation Army New Center, to support supervised visitation and safe exchange efforts.
  • The Family Justice Center of Erie County, Inc has been awarded $450,000 to continue improving the organization’s response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
  • Coordinated Care Services, Inc. of Rochester has been awarded $400,000, which will be used to support Rise Up Rochester and its efforts to ensure safe housing for victims of gun violence and their families, and provide advocacy throughout the court process.
  • Niagara University has been awarded $400,000 to collaborate with the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier, Pinnacle Community Services, the Seven Dancers Coalition, the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, and the New York State Police in combatting domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking on campus.
  • The Research Foundation for the State University of New York at Geneseo has been awarded $400,000 to work in collaboration with RESTORE, Chances & Changes, Inc., the Village of Geneseo Police Department, and the Livingston County District Attorney’s Office to combat domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking on campus.
  • D’Youville College has been awarded $399,728 to collaborate with Suicide Prevention & Crisis Services, Inc., and the New York State Police to combat domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking on campus.

Services for Youth:

  • The Sodus Central School District has been awarded $1,000,000 to work with the Wayne County Partnership and Ibero to better support migrant farmworkers and their families in Wayne County.
  • The Lyons Central School District has been awarded $998,874 for its Resiliency, Equity, and Safety Initiative, which will address the daily challenges of youth face in a high needs rural region.
  • The Wayne-Finger Lakes Board of Cooperative Educational Services has been awarded $999,987 to serve at-risk students and their educators in 25 school districts across Wayne, Seneca, and Ontario Counties, with a focus on social-emotional and mental health risks.
  • The North Rose-Wolcott Central School District has been awarded $998,826 for the Improving School Safety through Early Intervention Initiative, a program that will focus on 9th and 10th grade students at risk of not graduating on time or dropping out of high school.
  • The Elba Central School District has been awarded $625,000 to hire a social worker to expand mental and behavioral health services.
  • The Frontier Central School District has been awarded $125,774 for anti-violence training programs for staff, administrators, and students at six school sites, four elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school.

Law Enforcement Initiatives:

  • Monroe County has been awarded $526,741 and Erie County has been awarded $819,884 to address of backlog of DNA analysis cases in the Monroe County Crime Laboratory the Erie County Forensic Laboratory.
  • Niagara County has been awarded $500,000 to address the backlog of cases in the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Laboratory. Since 2017, the Toxicology – Postmortem caseload has increased 45% and the Firearms caseload has increased 126%.
  • Wayne County has been awarded $299,907 to hire a community resource officer in the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, who will guide the development of collaborations to reduce violence, especially intimate partner violence, drug-related violence, and youth violence.
  • The City of Buffalo has been awarded $284,913, which will be used to support additional police patrols at select large-scale events to protect attendees from terroristic threats and/or gun violence. The funds will also be used by Erie County to support an Assistant District Attorney for juvenile justice prosecution, the Town of Amherst to purchase technology upgrades for police vehicles, and the Town of Cheektowaga to provide extra police patrols in hot spot areas to reduce crime.
  • The City of Rochester has been awarded $175,205, which will be used by the City of Rochester and Monroe County to support the efforts of the Crisis Intervention Services unit.
  • The Rochester Institute of Technology has been awarded $143,958, which will be used to reduce gun violence in the City of Buffalo through the Project Safe Neighborhoods Program, which is administered by RIT.
  • The University of Rochester has been awarded $64,003 for research efforts into AI-powered audio generation and the use of deepfakes for criminal activities, as well as the development of audio deepfake detection.
  • The City of Niagara Falls has been awarded $38,562, which will be used to continue to support two part time police liaisons to enhance communication between the community and the police, and to replace outdated handheld radios.
  • The City of Jamestown has been awarded $20,694, which will be used by the Jamestown Police Department to purchase and implement an additional deployable pole camera system.

Reentry and Recidivism Initiatives:              

  • PathStone of Rochester has been awarded $750,000 to develop and implement a comprehensive community-based adult reentry program to serve incarcerated individuals incarcerated eligible for release within 90 days. These individuals will be served by the transition to Tomorrow (T2T) program.
  • The Ontario County Economic Development Corporation has been awarded $729,132, to support the Finger Lakes Treatment Court, which is a post-plea, presentence court serving veterans and drug court participants.

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