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Funding Benefits Herndon Police

Federal funding would allow for purchase of new technology, increase anti-gang efforts.

U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10) announced earlier this week that the Herndon Police Department would be the recipient of $90,000 in federal funding to help the department better serve and protect the community.

Although the department will have to fill out a formal application to indicate how they plan to use the money, the funding has already been designated to Herndon's police force.

The police requested funding a year ago to help the department purchase additional law enforcement technology. The allotted money will allow the department to buy additional equipment such as in-car video cameras, mobile data terminals or crime scene enhancement tools.

As chairman of the House Science-State-Justice-Commerce subcommittee — which determines the Justice Department's budget — Wolf requested a portion of this year's budget be allotted to the Herndon department based on its request for funding. The Senate was scheduled to approve the FY 2006 Science-State-Justice-Commerce (SSJC) Appropriations report this week.

Wolf also announced last week that an additional $2.5 million in funding would go to the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force, headed by Herndon Police Chief Toussaint Summers Jr.

The funding will continue to help the gang task force crack down on gangs in the Commonwealth as well as neighboring Maryland. Money will also be designated to fund education and prevention programs.

IN THE LAST three years the gang task force has received more than $4 million to create programs intended to remove gangs from the region. These programs include special law enforcement training, preventative measures such as programs for unsupervised youths after school and intervention programs. To date, Wolf has secured more than $10 million for gang prevention programs throughout the Commonwealth.

Locally, community organizations like Vecinos Unidos/Neighbors United have created multiple after school programs for Herndon's youth. These include a recently opened Safe Haven for elementary and middle school-aged children, Quantum Opportunities for select high school students — both funded by a grant from the Eisenhower Foundation — and an after school homework assistance program at the Neighborhood Resource Center. A Boys & Girls Club was opened in October at Hutchison Elementary School for a select number of the school's students to ensure they had somewhere positive to go after school. Wolf has been involved with all of these programs, ensuring they have proper funding and attending kick-off ceremonies to show his support. A former Boys & Girls Club attendee himself, Wolf has encouraged the establishment of additional clubs in Fairfax County, as well as in neighboring Prince William and Loudoun counties. In the committee's report to be reviewed by the U.S. Senate, $85 million has been designated to help the Boys & Girls Clubs across the country continue their programs.

Task forces operating in Maryland and the northern Shenandoah Valley also received funding from the committee that determines the Justice Department's funding. As the chairman of the House subcommittee that recommends the Justice Department funding, Wolf was responsible for the creation of the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force in 2003. An additional $2 million will be designated to the suburban Maryland task force and $587,000 will be given to the Shenandoah Valley. Additional funding was allocated to the Juvenile Justice Gang Resistance Education Program, $25 million; the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant Program, $50 million; the Hispanic Radio Network that educates Hispanic parents nationwide about after school and work study programs available in the community, $250,000; as well as new anti-gang initiatives. These new programs include a nationwide anti-gang program that incorporates law enforcement and prevention components, as well as the addition of new staff or programs to federal law enforcement teams investigating gangs across the country.