By: Richard L. Smith
Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin today announced that the Department of Law and Public Safety will award 20 law enforcement agencies across New Jersey with grants totaling $7 million to acquire and expand the technology to combat gun violence.
According to the Attorney General’s office, law enforcement agencies in 13 counties plus the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) will receive grants ranging from $20,000 to nearly $2 million to purchase gunshot detection technology that will enable first responders to more quickly render lifesaving medical aid to shooting victims and help law enforcement identify shooters faster, leading to swifter apprehension and reduced instances of retaliatory violence.
The grants, made available by the Murphy Administration using federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds, are the latest resource investments to law enforcement agencies to reduce gun violence in New Jersey.
“Combating the tragedy of gun violence remains a top priority for my Administration. Our office continues to proactively work with Attorney General Platkin, Colonel Callahan, law enforcement agencies, and community groups throughout the state to promote an all-inclusive approach to curb violence,” said Governor Murphy.
“These grants are a testament to our persistent endeavors and will assist the beneficiary law enforcement agencies in obtaining the essential resources needed to combat crime and provide relief to victims of these crimes.”
“Thanks to Governor Murphy’s leadership and support, we are investing millions of dollars to make our communities safer and give law enforcement officers the tools they need to combat the epidemic of gun violence,” said Attorney General Platkin.
“The cutting-edge technology made available through these grants will bolster our intelligence-led, precision policing and prosecution strategies and allow law enforcement and first responders to react and deploy to shooting events quickly.
Simply put, this technology will save lives.”
"The allocation of this grant will not only aid our efforts in combating gun violence, but it will also help us in our mission to protect our neighborhoods and keep the citizens of the state safe,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.
Gunshot detection technology provides law enforcement additional eyes and ears on the streets that can pinpoint the location of gun violence the moment a criminal pulls the trigger.
Investing in this technology reinforces the resolve that Governor Murphy and his administration have toward eradicating gun violence in New Jersey.
As we continue to work with our partners, this technology will add a useful tool to our arsenal as we target the most violent offenders in the state and hold them accountable for their actions.”
The gunshot detection technology funding was awarded through a competitive grant program open to all law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction in New Jersey that serve communities demonstrating increased violent crime, gun violence, and/or auto theft.
Officials said the funds were awarded to recipients for the purchase or enhancement of a fully integrated network of three distinct systems, including acoustic detectors, video management technology, and automatic license plate readers.
When combined, these systems allow first responders to more quickly render lifesaving medical aid to victims of gun violence more and assist law enforcement in identifying shooters, leading to faster apprehension and reduced instances of retaliatory violence.
The following is a list of grant recipients and the amount of funding they will receive:
- City of Atlantic City, Atlantic County – $333,700
- Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, Bergen County – $336,500
- Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, Burlington County – $200,000
- Township of Pemberton, Burlington County – $167,850
- Willingboro Police Department, Burlington County – $99,000
- Camden County Police Department, Camden County – $164,000
- Township of Winslow, Camden County – $285,452
- East Orange Police Department, Essex County – $105,500
- City of Newark Department of Public Safety, Essex County – $1,019,418
- City of Orange, Essex County – $108,500
- Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, Mercer County – $567,400
- Edison Police Department, Middlesex County – $40,902
- County of Monmouth, Monmouth County – $20,000
- Paterson Police Department, Passaic County – $276,108
- Salem County Prosecutor’s Office, Salem County – $148,500
- Franklin Township Police Department, Somerset County – $339,500
- County of Union, Union County – $150,000
- Union County Police Department, Union County – $355,500
- Phillipsburg Police Department, Warren County – $297,000
- New Jersey State Police – $1,985,671
All eligible grant applications were fully funded for projects ranging in scope from enhancing technology and expanding the footprint of existing gunshot detection systems to purchasing new gunshot detection technology.
Under the terms of the grant, recipients will be reimbursed for expenses incurred in compliance with the grant terms.
The federal ARP grants were made available to state, local, and Tribal governments nationwide to support their response to and recovery from the COVID-19 public health emergency. Violent crime is recognized as a public health challenge exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In January 2022, Governor Murphy announced he would invest ARP funding for gunshot technology grants.
In September, Attorney General Platkin announced funding availability and opened the grant application process to eligible law enforcement agencies.
The full eligibility and application requirements and the NOAFs and Application Guidelines/Instructions for this grant program are available online at: www.njoag.gov/resources/grant-opportunities/notices-of-available-funds/