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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Amherst Police Department Awarded $55,000.00 Grant

The Amherst Police Department has received a $55,000 grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS). This competitive grant is awarded under the Edward J. Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) Program, a grant program originating from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, and Bureau of Justice Assistance. The JAG Program provides Massachusetts critical funding necessary to support a range of program areas including law enforcement, prosecution and court programs, prevention and education programs, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, crime victim and witness initiatives, and various planning, evaluation, and technology improvement programs. Of the 110 grants received by EOPSS, the Amherst Police Department was one of only 63 that were funded.

The Amherst Police Department will use this funding to hire, train and equip a part-time civilian crime analyst. The goal of this program is to prevent and reduce crime within the town of Amherst through the analysis of incident, traffic and call data. The analysis of the data developed by the crime analyst will be utilized to make strategic, tactical and long term decisions regarding staffing and deployment of personnel. The crime analyst will work closely to aid both the patrol operations and the detective bureau to accomplish the overall goal of reducing and preventing crime within the Amherst community.

“Due to the difficult economic climate, the police department is faced with fewer resources while activity levels have continually increased, and we hope that the implementation of intelligence led policing can improve our efficiency” said Chief of Police Scott P. Livingstone. “With the analysis of existing data and trends, we can make more informed decisions based on the data, thus we will improve our ability to problem solve and address crime and disorder issues within the town.”

While this grant award is for one year, the Amherst Police Department will be aggressive in identifying other state and federal grant programs that can extend the program beyond the twelve month period. The Amherst Police Department will immediately begin advertising for the part-time civilian advocate, and hope to have the position filled by June 1, 2012. Questions regarding this program can be forwarded to Captain Jennifer Gundersen at 413-259-3012.

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