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 For Immediate Release—Friday, September 28, 2001

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ANNOUNCES COMMUNITY SAFETY AND MENTAL HEALTH GRANTS FOR NATIVE AMERICAN COMMUNITIES

Tribes in Alaska, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma and Washington Receive $800,000

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Attorney General John Ashcroft and the Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) today announced $800,000 in grant funding for a Mental Health and Community Safety Initiative. These grants are part of a $3 million federal partnership to provide Native American and Alaskan Native communities with support for programs that encourage coordinated efforts between law enforcement, mental health, substance abuse, social service, and public safety professionals. The intent of this program is to create collaborative partnerships that address crime problems associated with substance abuse, youth and family violence, and delinquency and truancy.

Today's grants were awarded to the Mount Sanford Tribal Consortium (AK), Ft Peck Tribes (MT), Isleta Police Department (NM), Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe (NV), Comanche Indian Tribe (OK), Kaw Nation of Oklahoma (OK), and the Lummi Indian Business Council (WA) to improve safety and the quality of life in native communities. The grants awarded by COPS will cover salaries and benefits for new community or school resource officers and funding for equipment and training.

"COPS is proud to provide support to Tribal Communities to ensure that they have the resources needed to meet their unique public safety needs," said Carl R. Peed, Director of the COPS Office. "This funding is critical to the continued development of the law enforcement and public safety infrastructure in Native communities."

Today's awards were made through the Tribal Mental Health Program, which is a coordinated federal initiative of the Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, Education, and Interior.