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Federal Cop Money Slows to a Trickle

By Catherine M. Welch

Wilmington, NC – Next month the Wilmington Police Department will request city funding for equipment that will be reimbursed by a Justice Department grant given to local law enforcement for crime prevention.

Wilmington's Police Chief says the grant has been cut in Washington to the point that he doesn't think there will be anymore money coming to Wilmington.

It's called the Byrne JAG grant, and it gives local police departments broad latitude to decide on how they should spend the money.

In North Carolina, the grant has been used to fund Southport's juvenile delinquency prevention program, Duplin County's teen court and the Leland Police Department's community narcotics program.

The Wilmington Police Department says it has received $200,000 in Byrne JAG funding during the last four years. And Chief Ralph Evangelous says he's worried the grants are coming to an end.

"Absent of that we really have to keep going back to the local tax payers and say we need more money,' well the problem is, there's no more money."

Evangelous says the department has used Byrne JAG funding to pay for everything from overtime to a finger print scanning device. He says the license plate scanner he will request funding for next month could be the last purchase made through the federal grant.

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