TERRE HAUTE —
More than $15,000 in federal funds came to Terre Haute on Tuesday through a federal grant program designed to strengthen law enforcement efforts in the Wabash Valley.
U.S. Attorney Joseph Hogsett presented Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett with a check for $15,781 from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program.
“Law enforcement here in Terre Haute and across Vigo County are tireless in their work to keep the Wabash Valley safe and secure,” Hogsett said. “But in these tight fiscal times, we should all welcome any opportunity to return federal dollars back in this community to make these efforts even stronger.”
About $3,500 of the funds will be allocated to the Vigo County Drug and Alcohol Court Program to assist with the diversion program.
The balance will be used by the Terre Haute Police Department to purchase a boat for response to incidents and investigations on the Wabash River.
“In the past, we have relied on the Indiana State Police and on conservation officers for the use of a boat,” said THPD Assistant Chief Shawn Keen. “We are a city on the river, so this boat will make us better able to respond to incidents quicker.”
Judge Michael Rader said the funding will support the efforts of the drug court program, which offers defendants a chance to participate in treatment programs and make positive changes in their lives to avoid a criminal penalty.
Hogsett said Terre Haute is fortunate to be among a few Hoosier cities to receive the funding.
“I’m particularly proud as a Hoosier taxpayer to see some of our federal tax dollars that we send to Washington, D.C., being sent back to communities such as Terre Haute,” Hogsett said during a check presentation at Terre Haute City Hall.
Bennett said Byrne grants have been received numerous times in the past to help the city buy tools and resources for law enforcement.
Lt. Hugh Crawford in the special services division of THPD oversaw the grant application process, and was at the funding presentation, along with Keen, Rader, and Jim Bowman and Paul Southwick from the drug court program.
“Combating drug trafficking and violent crime is a team sport, and it takes all of us working together to be successful,” Hogsett said.
Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at (812) 231-4254 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.