Senate panel advances funding for stronger public safety in Dawson County

Measure will help Sheriff’s Office improve emergency preparedness, training

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester and his colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Committee have passed legislation that will help improve public safety and emergency preparedness in Dawson County, Tester and Senator Max Baucus announced today.

The Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Act includes funding for the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office to build a high security facility to be used for emergency training, drug searches, and evidence storage.  The funds will also help purchase better radios and an indoor weapons training system.

Dawson County Sheriff Craig Anderson says the county will turn the indoor weapons training system into a regional training facility for other law enforcement agencies in eastern Montana, which will improve public safety for residents in Glendive, Dawson County and the surrounding counties.

"This is very welcome news for Dawson County and all of eastern Montana," Anderson said. "We know that Jon and Max understand what this type of investment will mean for protecting our law enforcement officers and citizens."

“Giving our law enforcement all the tools they need to keep our communities safe is a smart investment,” Tester said. “Rural areas in places like Montana present unique situations when it comes to public safety.  These dollars mean the folks we charge with protecting our families can do their jobs more effectively.” 

“This is good news for residents of Dawson County and the surrounding communities,” Baucus said.  “I’m proud of this funding, which means that the men and women who put their lives on the line to keep our streets safe will be better equipped to do their jobs.  Investments like this benefit all Montanans.”

Under the current legislation, the Dawson County Sheriff’s office will receive $150,000 for improved equipment and training.

The legislation must first pass the full Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives before the funding can be signed into law.

For a full list of funding for Montana under the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Act, click HERE.

What is an appropriations bill?
  • A federal appropriations bill funds the federal government.  12 appropriations bills will fund the federal government for the next Fiscal Year.
  • Less than one half of one percent of these appropriations bills consist of congressionally directed funding (also called “earmarks”).  This funding is not additional spending for the federal government, nor does it increase federal deficit.  Rather, it is a set of directions telling the government where it must use existing funds.
  • In the past, appropriations funding had been abused by anonymous requests with little transparency.
  • Since 2007, the process was overhauled to guarantee transparency and fair debate in Congress.
  • All of Tester’s and Baucus’ appropriations requests are online HERE and HERE.