Tester Announces Nearly $5 Million for Montana Law Enforcement During COVID-19 Outbreak

Senator secures $3.4 million in emergency assistance grants for state efforts, $1.3 million for local law enforcement

As part of his ongoing effort to bolster public safety in Montana during the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced that Montana will receive an estimated $4.7 million to bolster state and local law enforcement efforts and purchase protective equipment for officers. A city, county and Tribal breakdown of funding can be found below.

Tester helped secure this funding as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that includes a total of $850 million to help state and local law enforcement purchase personal protective equipment and pay for officer overtime through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Grant (Byrne JAG) program. The state of Montana will receive $3.4 million to be distributed by the Montana Board of Crime Control, and $1.3 million will be available to local law enforcement agencies across the state.

“Montana’s state, local and Tribal law enforcement are going to be on the front lines of keeping communities safe as we work to contain the coronavirus outbreak across the state,” Tester said. “We’re already seeing a huge shortage of protective gear and other resources that would keep officers safe while they’re serving their communities, and this funding will help address that shortage to give them better tools to look after Montana families while protecting their own safety.”

Tester has been pressuring the Trump Administration to ensure that rural states like Montana are not left behind during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly when it comes to funding for personal protective equipment including masks, medical supplies, and ventilators. As more regulations and protocols are put in place to increase public safety, law enforcement officers will see increased activity which could result in higher risk of exposure if they do not have access to the necessary equipment.

The following localities are eligible for a portion of the $1.3 million in funding:

  • Cascade County – $58,008
  • City of Great Falls – $84,380
  • Hill County – $58,008
  • City of Havre – $33,418
  • Lewis and Clark County – $47,182
  • City of Helena – $93,907
  • Missoula County – $46,880
  • City of Missoula – $168,309
  • Yellowstone County – $42,343
  • City of Billings – $230,612
  • Gallatin County – $40,829
  • City of Bozeman – $60,489
  • Butte-Silver Bow County and City – $55,044
  • Lake County – $44,911
  • Flathead County – $90,885
  • City of Kalispell – $33,119
  • Blackfeet Tribe – $71,679
  • Chippewa-Cree Tribe – $42,794

Tester has been working tirelessly to ensure that Montana is prepared to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. In the Senate last week, after 72 hours negotiating substantial, bipartisan improvements to COVID-19 stimulus legislation that had previously fallen far short, Tester voted to deliver critical, urgent relief to Montana workers, families, small businesses, hospitals and others hardest hit by the outbreak. This funding includes $1.25 billion for the state of Montana.

Visit tester.senate.gov/coronavirusresouces for a list of resources for Montanans during the COVID-19 outbreak