Hawai‘i Police Get Financial Relief Among COVID-19 Pandemic

April 1, 2020, 8:41 AM HST (Updated April 1, 2020, 8:41 AM)
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While social distancing has become a new way of life for many in Hawai‘i, law enforcement officers have no recourse except to maintain a hands-on approach.

To help protect them from COVID-19 infection, police departments across Hawai‘i will be the recipients of $5.5 million in funding under the Byrne-Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program to support state and county law officials.

Congress passed an increase in JAG grant funding as part of the third coronavirus relief package to help police officers and other first responders who are at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 as they combat the coronavirus outbreak, according to a press release from the office of Sen. Mazie K. Hirono.

“Our state and local law enforcement and first responders have been on the front lines with our health care professionals in confronting this pandemic, and they need the appropriate tools, equipment and resources to keep themselves safe as they assist others,” Hirono said. “This funding will help ensure that these first responders are able to continue protecting our community during this challenging time.”

Under the terms of the grant program, state and county governments may use JAG funding to support purchases of personal protective equipment, hire additional officers, pay overtime for officers working long hours, conduct training for officers and address the medical needs of inmates in state and local prisons, among other critical uses.

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