Lincoln, Pryor Announce Approval of $5 Million for Arkansas Projects

Washington – U.S. Senators Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor today announced that the Senate has approved the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 2010, containing $5 million in law enforcement priorities for Arkansas.

“We all want Arkansas’s communities to be as safe as possible,” said Lincoln. “This bill provides the necessary funding to help us reach that goal. The funds provide important resources to help local law enforcement officials protect our families, and I will continue to fight for these critical priorities.”

“This legislation will help prevent violent crime and terrorism while also boosting our nation’s competitiveness in research, technology, science, and the next era of manufacturing,” Pryor said. “As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I worked hard to ensure that Arkansas law enforcement agencies received the funding they need to keep our communities safe.”

The Senate bill includes the following state and local priorities for Arkansas:

$1,000,000 for the Criminal Justice Institute, Rural Executive Management Institute

Rural law enforcement agencies, while comprising nearly 90 percent of the law enforcement agencies in America, have limited training opportunities due to small or non-existent training budgets.  The Rural Executive Management Institute (REMI) was created to meet this need by providing a training program designed exclusively for rural law enforcement executives.  REMI is implemented in Little Rock by the Criminal Justice Institute, which is a part of the University of Arkansas System.

$300,000 for the Hot Springs Police Department

Funding will be used to equip Hot Springs police vehicles with Mobile Data Terminals.  These Mobile Data Terminals will provide access to local, state, and national databases, improving communications between law enforcement agencies during crisis situations.

$400,000 for the Criminal Justice Institute, Arkansas Methamphetamine Education and Training Project

Arkansas has consistently ranked as one of the top 10 states in the U.S. with the highest number of meth lab seizures.  Arkansas is also one of the top seven states with the highest percentage of methamphetamine treatment admissions.  This funding would support the Criminal Justice Institute’s efforts to continue providing methamphetamine-focused courses for the Arkansas law enforcement community and continue Arkansas’s drug-endangered children (DEC) initiative.

$750,000 for the City of Fayetteville Police Department, Simulcast Communications System. This funding will help the City of Fayetteville’s Police Department to purchase, install, and implement an Astro 25 LE simulcast system. The system would improve radio coverage and provide police officers and firefighters with an interoperable communications system in emergency situations.

$300,000 for Save the Children’s Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Project

Save the Children’s programs provide children in grades kindergarten through eighth with safe, educational afterschool activities during the critical 3:00-6:00 p.m. window when many parents are still working and juvenile crime rates triple.  With these funds, Save the Children will collaborate with and train local school partners in several East Arkansas communities to implement structured supplementary literacy services for programs after school and during the summer.  Funds will be used for curriculum and assessment materials, books, technology and other supplies in addition to ongoing training and technical assistance, monitoring and evaluation.

Philander Smith College

$750,000 for Technology/Security Infrastructure Upgrades

These funds will be used to upgrade campus technological and security infrastructure.  These upgrades will enhance security for the dormitory, student union center, and campus as a whole.  Additionally, updated technological equipment and support are needed for the college to meet the needs of the students and operate as an efficient organization.

A Child Is Missing

$200,000 for A Child Is Missing Program in Arkansas

This funding would help A Child is Missing (ACIM) assist law enforcement agencies in Arkansas in locating missing children and elderly adults.  The program is available free of charge to all 431 Arkansas law enforcement agencies.  Funds would be used for maintaining and upgrading ACIM’s telephone technology and its Arkansas call lists.  Funds would also help cover the actual costs of making calls in Arkansas, support ACIM’s Arkansas law enforcement training sessions, and establish community awareness meetings involving child safety issues throughout the state.

City of Fort Smith Police Department

$750,000 for the River Valley Mobile Data Network

Funding would be used to purchase and implement a county-wide law enforcement mobile data network in Sebastian County.  The technologies and methodologies that would be deployed include: mobile data terminals, global positioning systems, standardization of records management systems, and real time criminal information sharing among all agencies.  The River Valley Mobile Data Project would serve nine member agencies in Sebastian County.

Criminal Justice Institute

$200,000 for the Arkansas School Resource Officer Program

The Criminal Justice Institute has assembled a task force of experienced School Resource Officers (SRO) and subject matter experts to establish criteria, guidelines, training curricula, and other resources for SROs, school security, and school personnel.  Concurrently, the Institute is identifying and will deliver advanced trainings for SROs based on needs identified by SROs, school administrators, and current trends.

Criminal Justice Institute

$100,000 for the Cyber Crimes Investigation Training Initiative

This funding will be used to develop a cyber crimes investigation course with the goal of delivering training to at least 160 Arkansas law enforcement officers.

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

$250,000 for UAMS Campus Security Enhancement

These funds will assist the University of Arkansas for Medical Science (UAMS) Police Department in acquiring the latest in-car digital video camera systems and mobile computer technology for its officers.  UAMS hopes to equip five police vehicles with mobile data terminals and cameras in order to effectively enhance public safety on campus.  These systems will provide officers the ability to access police reports, mug photos, traffic records, and other critical public safety information.