ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced $6,109,353 in federal funding Tuesday to combat criminal activity and fund family and drug courts in New York State. In the Capital Region, both New York State Police in Albany County and the Schenectady County Family Court will benefit from the newly-announced allocations.
The funding was awarded through the Department of Justice and will be used to combat and respond to online child sexual abuse, conduct forensic DNA analysis and reduce the backlog of forensic and database DNA samples in crime laboratories, fight human trafficking, and help establish and strengthen family and drug courts throughout the state.
“This federal funding will help communities from Nassau to Erie County identify perpetrators and achieve justice for victims,” said Senator Schumer. “I am proud to deliver this investment to help local law enforcement stop online child predators, reduce the backlog of DNA evidence in forensic labs, and strengthen support and outreach for crime victims. I will continue to fight tooth and nail to ensure our communities have all the resources needed to keep families safe.”
DNA testing improvements can be expected from the New York State Police in Albany County, who were given $950,000 to reduce the backlog in forensic samples at the DNA Databank Laboratory. As for Schenectady County Family Court, the $896,945 allocated will go toward the establishment of a new Family Treatment Court.
Family Treatment Courts, like that which will be established in Schenectady County, are designed to reunite respondents with their children and keep them together long-term. The main purpose of such courts is leading people living with substance use and mental health disorders out of the justice system and into lives of recovery and stability.
Across the state, funds will be allocated as follows:
|City of New York||$493,467||New York||FY 2021 Guidance for Invited Applications for Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces||Prevent, investigate, prosecute, and promote community awareness of online enticement of children by sexual predators and other internet crimes against children|
|Erie County||$612,156||Erie||BJA FY 21 DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction Program||Reduce backlog of forensic DNA samples at and increase capacity of Erie County Forensic Laboratory|
|Suffolk County||$315,741||Suffolk||BJA FY 21 DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction Program||Reduce backlog of forensic DNA samples at and increase capacity of the Suffolk County Crime Laboratory|
|Westchester County||$290,569||Westchester||BJA FY 21 DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction Program||Reduce backlog of forensic DNA samples at and increase capacity of the Westchester County laboratory|
|Nassau County||$304,592||Nassau||BJA FY 21 DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction Program||Reduce backlog of forensic DNA samples at and increase capacity of the Nassau County Medical Examiner’s Office|
|New York State Police||$950,000||Albany||BJA FY 21 DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction Program||Reduce backlog of forensic DNA samples at and increase capacity of the DNA Databank Laboratory|
|The Salvation Army||$798,938||Rockland||OVC FY 2021 Services for Victims of Human Trafficking||Serve victims of human trafficking and conduct community training and awareness and outreach events|
|Unified Court System of New York State||$896,945||Schenectady||OJJDP FY 2021 Family Drug Court Program||Establish a new Family Treatment Court in Schenectady County Family Court in Schenectady|
|Unified Court System of New York State||$896,945||Nassau||OJJDP FY 2021 Family Drug Court Program||Implement the Nassau County Family Treatment Court for families impacted by the child welfare system with identified substance use disorder|
|Unified Court System of New York State||$ 550,000||Suffolk||BJA FY 21 Adult Drug Court and Veterans Treatment Court Discretionary Grant Program||Create a DWI/DUI track within the Suffolk County Drug Court|
“This federal funding is a critical investment in our communities,” said Senator Gillibrand. “It will dedicate resources to help local law enforcement fight heinous crimes including online child sexual abuse, sexual assault, and human trafficking, and invests in vital services like family treatment and drug courts.”
Senator Gillibrand went on to say she will continue fighting to ensure communities across New York State have what they need to stay safe.