Casey, Specter Announce Committee Approval of Commerce, Justice Projects

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Bob Casey and Arlen Specter today announced that the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee has approved federal funding for several Pennsylvania projects.  The projects are contained in the Fiscal Year 2011 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Bill.

“This funding will have a tremendous impact on local communities by enhancing safety through advanced law enforcement programs and improvements to the criminal justice system,” Senator Specter said.  “I am pleased my colleagues have approved federal funding for these vital projects.”

“I am pleased that these important projects for Pennsylvania were approved,” Senator Casey said.  “I will continue to work to fund law enforcement and violence prevention initiatives throughout the Commonwealth.”

The bill must be approved by the full Senate, the House of Representatives and signed into law by the President before funding is final.

Pennsylvania projects in the bill include:

•    $300,000 for Centre County for an Emergency Communications System Upgrade.  Funds will be used to purchase technology that is necessary to upgrade the current 9-1-1 system from analog to digital, thereby allowing for open infrastructure digital communication that will permit regional cooperation and communication during emergencies.

•    $100,000 for Potter County for the Potter County Community Re-entry Project.  Funding will be used to implement a collaborative criminal justice, social services, job training, health, and life skills community reentry program that will serve Potter County Jail inmates and family members during the inmate's incarceration and for 6 months after release from jail.

•    $250,000 for the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape’s (Statewide Initiative) HERO Project.  Funding will be used for the implementation of the HERO project which educates adults about reporting and intervening in child sexual abuse in Pennsylvania.   

Lehigh Valley
•    $100,000 for the City of Bethlehem (Lehigh County) for Multi-Jurisdictional Public Safety Cameras.  Funds will be used to install and monitor 25 outdoor wireless surveillance cameras throughout the City of Bethlehem, as part of a joint operation between the Bethlehem Police Department and the campus police for local colleges including Lehigh University and Moravian College.

•    $400,000 for Lehigh County for the Lehigh Valley Regional Crime Center.  The center would be a cross-jurisdictional effort involving 53 local law enforcement agencies in Lehigh and Berks counties and would include a database that integrates local police data and provides extensive search, query, and analysis tools for local crime data.  

•    $300,000 for the City of Allentown (Lehigh County) for a Radio Encryption Project. Funding will be used to for equipment acquisition to create an interoperable secured radio and data communications network among Public Safety Responders at the local and state level.

•    $500,000 for Lackawanna County for a Public Safety Radio System upgrade, which will be carried out by providing mobile communications devices to each public safety unit and ensuring total interoperability capacities with adjoining counties.

•    $100,000 for the Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Services (Philadelphia County) for its Small Business Latin America Trade and Education program, which supports trade missions and training seminars to help Latino businesses prepare to trade and enter into partnerships with Latin American companies.

•    $1 million for the City of Philadelphia (Philadelphia County) for the Philadelphia Youth Violence Reduction Partnership.  Funding will be used to help reduce youth homicides in Philadelphia through the continued implementation and possible expansion of the Partnership.

•    $250,000 for the City of Philadelphia to purchase and deploy covert, mobile, solar-powered cameras in targeted neighborhoods throughout the City.  

•    $500,000 for Allegheny County for a Mobile Crime Scene Unit.  This Unit will be available at times to respond to crime scenes in any of the 131 municipalities within Allegheny County to ensure proper evidence processing in jurisdictions.

•    $1 million for the City of Pittsburgh to support the deployment of camera systems in business districts and neighborhoods  identified by the Department of Public Safety as requiring additional security camera coverage to help maintain a safe community.

•    $200,000 for Fayette County to upgrade dispatching equipment from analog technology to digital in order to improve communications and interoperability between the Fayette County 9-1-1 center and the 90 police, fire, and ambulance companies that receive dispatch services.

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