The US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Wednesday, August 28, that the Town of Newtown will receive more than $600,000 of an overall $2.5 million grant to be provided to law enforcement agencies in Connecticut to cover the costs for police coverage stemming from the 12/14 shooting incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
In a statement, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Assistance will provide $2.5 million overall in funding to the Connecticut State Police, Newtown police, and the many municipal police agencies that provided law enforcement assistance after the shooting incident.
The funding is intended to compensate the agencies and jurisdictions for costs related to overtime, forensic investigation, and security during and in the aftermath of the crime, according to DOJ.
“Providing support to the law enforcement agencies that responded to the horrific (crime) scene that awaited them at Sandy Hook Elementary School is one small action we can take to bring healing to a community that’s been devastated,” Mr Holder said.
“Just over eight months after this senseless tragedy, those who lost their lives, and those who continue to grieve, remain in our thoughts and prayers,” he added.
On the morning of December 14, a 20-year-old gunman carrying a semiautomatic military assault-style rifle shot his way into the K-4 school on Dickinson Drive, where he killed 20 first grade students and six educators. Before the incident, the gunman, Adam Lanza, of Sandy Hook, had shot and killed his mother. As police approached the school, the gunman then shot and killed himself.
The DOJ grant funding has been broken down as follows: Connecticut State Police, $663,444; Newtown Police Department, $602,293; Monroe Police Department, $882,812; and the 34 other police departments which aided Newtown will share $296,836.
Those police departments are located in Avon, Bethel, Bloomfield, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Clinton, Coventry, Danbury, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Glastonbury, Groton, Meriden, Middletown, New Britain, Newington, New Canaan, New Milford, Norwalk, Orange, Plainville, Redding, Ridgefield, Seymour, Shelton, Southington, Stratford, Trumbull, Waterbury, Watertown, Wilton, Weston, and Wolcott.
“This critical funding will compensate the Connecticut State Police and Newtown Police Department for their tireless work investigating this crime, as well as more than two dozen police departments from across the state whose officers responded to Newtown within minutes of this horrific act and, for months, helped to provide security and comfort to a courageous community,” said Deirdre M. Daly, the Acting U.S. Attorney for Connecticut
In response to the grant award, First Selectman Pat Llodra said in a statement, “For many months we have been working with representatives of the DOJ to document and justify expenses related to police overtime, forensics, and security subsequent to the shootings at Sandy Hook School on December 14.
“These substantial expenses were borne by municipal budgets in Newtown and Monroe, by state police, and by our many mutual aid and partner police agencies. In order to pay these bills in the months following the event the town ‘borrowed’ from cash reserves. This grant will allow us to repay what we took from savings,” she said.
“We sincerely appreciate the support of the federal government in making these resources available to reimburse those who helped us so unselfishly deal with the many security and forensics issues we confronted in the weeks and months since December 14,” Mrs Llodra added.