U.S. Sen. Mazie K. Hirono announced today that Hawaii will receive $5.5 million in funding from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program to support state and county law officials as they combat the coronavirus outbreak.
Hirono said Congress approved an increase in JAG grant funding as part of the third coronavirus relief package, with the intention of helping police officers and other first responders at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 while on duty during the outbreak.
County governments may use JAG funding to purchase personal protective equipment, conduct training, hire additional officers, pay officers overtime, and address the medical needs of inmates in state and local prisons, among other critical uses.
“Our state and local law enforcement and first responders have been on the front lines with our health care professionals in confronting this pandemic,” said Hirono in a news release, “and they need the appropriate tools, equipment, and resources to keep themselves safe as they assist others. This funding will help ensure that these first responders are able to continue protecting our community during this challenging time.”