Justice Dept. to give $1.5 million for Newtown relief efforts
Three days after the nation marked the first anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Justice Department officials announced a $1.5-million grant to help reimburse organizations that provided relief efforts to victims.
The grant, provided by the Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crime, will go to the Connecticut judicial branch, which administers funding for services to victims of violent crime, according to a Justice Department press statement on Tuesday.
“This funding will provide critical support to the brave women and men who responded to the devastating violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School, as well as the counselors and others who are helping the community recover,” Atty. Gen. Eric Holder said in the release.
On Dec. 14, 2012, Adam Lanza shot his way through Sandy Hook Elementary School, killing 20 first-graders and six school employees before taking his own life.
“Over the past 12 months, the Town of Newtown has been deeply touched by the care, compassion and understanding that many agencies and organizations have given to our community,” Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe said in an email statement to the Los Angeles Times.
“The resources made available to the Town of Newtown and the many services delivered, will and have helped our community heal and recover,” he said. “These federal funds and other federal funds already provided will provide the necessary services and programs and make that commitment a reality. We are very grateful to all of our service providers and we honor their commitment to our community.”
OVC Director Joyce Frost said that funding will support the school system, social service and medical organizations, and the city government, in order to continue assisting victims.
“OVC is committed to ensuring that the community of Newtown has the resources necessary to assist victims of this horrific crime,” she said.
On the OVC’s website, a page titled “Support for Connecticut Shooting Victims,” highlights ways in which the organization and others have worked to help Newtown in the last year.
Resources for victims include The Connecticut Victim Compensation Program, which helps victims offset financial burdens of funeral, mental health, medical and other expenses related to the shooting; the Online Directory of Crime Victim Services, designed to help individuals locate crime victim services in the U.S. and other countries; and others.
This is not the first time the Justice Department has stepped in to help in the aftermath of the shooting. In August, Holder announced a $2.5-million grant, issued by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, for state and local agencies that responded to the shooting, according to a release.
Money from the grant was divvied up -- $663,444 went to Connecticut Sate Police, $602,293 to the Town of Newtown, $882,812 to the Town of Monroe and $296,836 to partner agencies, which included multiple Connecticut jurisdictions.
“One year after the senseless violence in Newtown, we continue to mourn the innocent children and selfless adults who were taken from us on that terrible day,” Holder said in the statement.
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