Specter, Casey Announce Final Approval of Pennsylvania Commerce, Justice and Science Projects

Federal Funding Part of FY09 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

Washington, D.C. —U.S. Senators Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) today announced final congressional approval of federal funding for several Commerce, Justice and Science projects in Pennsylvania as contained in the Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Bill.

“This funding will have tremendous impact on local communities by enhancing safety through advanced law enforcement programs and promoting important scientific initiatives,” 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,” Casey said.  “I will continue to work with Senator Specter to fund economic development programs, law enforcement and violence prevention initiatives, and scientific research projects throughout the commonwealth.”

Pennsylvania projects in the bill include:

*House Members that also supported a project are indicated in parentheses

$1.5 million for the City of Philadelphia in Philadelphia County for a program to reduce youth violence and homicide rates. The City’s Youth Violence Reduction Partnership is a multi-agency anti-violence initiative that has succeeded in reducing murders among youth ages 10-24 in targeted high crime areas of Philadelphia. (Fattah, Schwartz)

$750,000 for Allegheny County Department of Emergency Services in Allegheny County for security enhancements and cameras.  Federal funding will assist Allegheny County in establishing the ThreatViewer Emergency Management Visualization System by deploying additional wireless cameras into high-crime areas to aid local law enforcement agencies. (Doyle) 

$500,000 for the Franklin County Emergency Services Alliance in Franklin County to provide interoperable telecommunications equipment to emergency responders throughout the county.  This project, in conjunction with the county’s upgrades to its 9-1-1 Center, will improve operations and response times to emergencies, which have been hampered by incompatible radio communications between local and state entities. (Shuster) 

$500,000 for Clarion County to implement, enhance and sustain an interoperable communications network among local, regional, and State public safety entities.  The investment in radio communications technology and equipment will help meet the needs of first responder agencies in natural, man-made or terrorism-related incidents, while providing a direct link to all first responder agencies in the county and other counties in the region.  

$500,000 for Lehigh University in Northampton County for research and development of innovative nanomaterials and devices for NASA space flight applications. Advanced research to enhance safety, reliability, efficiency, miniaturization and automation of nanomaterials and devices is critical for development of NASA’s next generation of ultra-small probes, micro rovers and autonomous and manned spacecraft. 

$500,000 for the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative in Allegheny County for a collaborative partnership with Medrad for a Regenerative Therapy Delivery Initiative focused on the development of tools to enable the delivery of regenerative medicine. Continued, industry-focused development of such devices supports the objectives of NASA fluid dynamics studies. 

$450,000 for the City of Williamsport in Lycoming County for its police department for security enhancements and cameras which will be concentrated in high crime areas.  The digital video system will maintain surveillance of suspected and known areas of narcotics trafficking and gang related violence, as well as improve police response times to emergencies and assist officials on patrol with instantaneous information. (Carney) 

$400,000 for the United Way of Allegheny County in Allegheny County for the Youth Crime Prevention Council.  The Council, a partnership between the private and public sector, is aimed at developing and implementing a strategic plan to prevent youth violence through evidence-based programs focused on prevention, intervention and community mobilization strategies.  

$400,000 for the City of Allentown in Lehigh County for surveillance cameras for its police department. Federal funding will assist the city in building a wireless camera network in the downtown areas of the city, neighborhoods and school locations to increase the police force’s effectiveness in reducing crime and providing public safety.  

$300,000 for the City of York in York County for a crime response and coordination project.  This project is collaboration between York City, York County, and York College, to coordinate Quick Response Tactical Team (QRT) crime response activities through the use of cutting edge technologies. 

$250,000 for the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition in Philadelphia County for the National Comprehensive Center for Fathers for a fatherhood mentoring initiative.  The National Comprehensive Center for Fathers provides a comprehensive mentoring approach to fathers and youth to address the challenges of urban violence, recidivism and unemployment.  

$300,000 for Operation Our Town in Blair County for a drug enforcement and gang prevention program.  Operation Our Town is a business-led partnership that collaborates with state and local police to support targeted law enforcement and prosecution and to deliver proven drug prevention and treatment programs. (Shuster)  

$250,000 for Dauphin County to provide counseling to families in the Harrisburg area with at-risk youth. Through family group counseling, family, friends and neighbors are brought together to plan and care for the needs of an at-risk youth, as well as equip them with the skills to become successful, socially competent citizens. (Holden) 

$250,000 for the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape in Cumberland
County for a program that engages adults in reporting and intervening in child sexual abuse.

$250,000 for the City of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County for deployment of security cameras.  This initiative will support deployment of 53 cameras in 15 business districts across the City of Pittsburgh. (Doyle)

$200,000 for the City of York in York County for its police department for surveillance cameras.  Federal funds will be used for the purchase and installation of a city-wide camera surveillance system, which will assist York’s police force in improving response times to violent situations and ensuring the safety of the City’s citizens. 

$950,000 for the City of Allentown in Lehigh County for an anti-youth gang Initiative which will enhance and sustain model prevention programs developed through the Allentown Anti-Gang Task Force. (Dent) 

$250,000 for the Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh in Allegheny County to provide a comprehensive range of services for victims of domestic violence and their children. (Doyle) 

$150,000 for Luzerne County Community College (LCCC) in Luzerne County for a Public Safety Training Institute which will train law enforcement and other emergency responders.  The Institute will provide training to 151 police departments, 352 fire departments and 21 hospitals across 10 counties in northeast Pennsylvania. 

$100,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of Central Pennsylvania in Dauphin County for a mentoring-based gang prevention program. Mentors will establish positive relationships with targeted youth as a means to combat gang involvement, participation in violence and drug use and trafficking.  

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