Press Releases

Washington, DC – The Senate Friday approved by unanimous consent an amendment offered by U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to the budget resolution that would help provide critical federal grant funding for America’s law enforcement communities.  The amendment was also cosponsored by Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina. 

The Chambliss-Feinstein measure would provide $900 million in formula funding for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne/JAG) Program, which is designed to provide support to state and local drug task forces, community crime prevention programs, substance abuse treatment programs, prosecution initiatives, and many other local crime control programs. With the Budget Committee’s decision to also provide $191 million in Byrne Discretionary funds, this means that the Byrne/JAG grant program will basically be funded at or near its full $1.095 billion authorized amount.

“I have heard first-hand from Georgia’s law enforcement community that this funding is critical to their efforts in fighting crime, drugs and keeping our citizens in both rural and urban communities safe,” said Chambliss.

“If we’re going to call upon folks to do more, then we have to provide the resources they need to carry out their duties. Planning for and providing robust funding for this effective program is essential to the folks we rely on to keep us and our families safe,”
Chambliss added.   

“For more than two decades, the Byrne/JAG grant program has supported multi-jurisdictional task forces in their fight against drug and firearm traffickers, gangs, and organized crime,” Senator Feinstein said.  “At a time when this country is seeing the biggest surge in violent crime it has experienced in more than a decade, we must fund programs like Byrne/JAG.  It is vital to our state and local law enforcement agencies, and especially to the smaller and rural jurisdictions that depend heavily on these grants, that we continue to fund this program.”

The grants are administered by the U.S. Justice Department, with 60 percent of the funds going to state agencies and 40 percent set aside for distribution to local governments. The Byrne/JAG Program provides one of the only sources of federal funds for sheriffs and police chiefs in many smaller and rural towns and counties. The program was named after New York Police officer Edward Byrne, who was killed in the line of duty in 1988.