JAG grant spending approved

FLINT TWP. —After holding a pubic hearing for 2014 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) spending, the township board approved an interlocal agreement that will bring $262,970 into participating communities to support crime-fighting efforts.

JAG funds are allocated by the U.S. Department of Justice and shared between the City of Flint, the City of Burton, Flint Township, Mt. Morris and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department.

Genesee County is designated a disparate county because the sheriff’s department houses prisoners but is not eligible to apply directly for the grant, said Lt. Robert Batinkoff. Under the agreement, 5 percent of allocated JAG funds go to the Sheriff’s Department and another five percent is paid to Flint Township for administering the grant.

This year’s allocation will be distributed as follows:

Genesee County – $13,149

City of Flint – $191,021

City of Burton – $9,876

Flint Township – $35,521 (including the 5 percent administration fee)

Mt. Morris Township – $13,404

The agreement calls for Flint Township to maintain an interest bearing trust account and allocate interest to each participating group. Each municipality agrees to use its FY 2014 funds by Sept. 2017.

The Interlocal Agreement has been in place since 2009.

The Byrne grant is named for a New York City police officer gunned down in 1988 at the age of 22. According to a history posted on the JAG website, Byrne was working detail to protect a witness who had agreed to testify in court against local drug dealers.

“Officer Byrne was in his patrol car outside the witness’ home around 3:30 a.m. when two armed gunmen crept up to his car from both sides. One of the men knocked on the passenger-side window to distract Officer Byrne just as a second perpetrator ran up to the driver’s side window and opened fire. Officer Byrne was shot five times in the head. Both gunmen, along with two other perpetrators who served as lookouts, fled the scene. Officer Byrne was rushed to the hospital where he died of his wounds.”

The four assailants were captured six days later and eventually sentenced to 25 years to life.

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