U.S. Ag Department Gives Out Millions in Public Safety Aid


The U.S. Department of Agriculture, known for its drought and disaster assistance to farmers, is providing hundreds of millions of dollars to cash-strapped towns and public safety agencies to buy police patrol cars, equip fire stations, and renovate courthouses, says USA Today. The agency’s Rural Community Facilities Program offers a mix of grants and loans to small communities across struggling in a difficult economy.

Since FY 2006, the program has doled out $770 million in public safety funding, including $39 million for 1,235 police cars and $120.5 million for 1,149 firetrucks. The funding is drawing new interest from financially stressed communities and as traditional sources of public safety aid — from the U.S. Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security— are being reduced. “The first time I heard of this program, I was surprised,” said Seneca Falls, N.Y., Police Chief Frederick Capozzi, who says “We’re all looking for money for training and equipment.”

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