Tester Secures Nearly $350,000 to Support Montana Law Enforcement Agencies, Enhance Public Safety

JAG grants will be used to purchase critical equipment, keep law enforcement officers on the job

U.S. Senator Jon Tester this week announced $341,238 in Department of Justice (DOJ) Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (JAGs) to help law enforcement agencies across Montana keep communities safe and keep officers on the job.

“Law enforcement officers across Big Sky Country are on the frontlines every day working tirelessly to keep our state and our families safe, and it’s our job to have their backs,” said Tester. “I am proud to have secured this funding which will provide Montana’s brave law enforcement officers critical resources they need to prevent crime, keep communities secure, and ensure Montana remains the Last Best Place.”

The Byrne JAG program is the leading source of federal criminal justice funding to state, local, and tribal governments. This set of JAGs will be primarily used to support law enforcement operations, fund drug courts, and upgrade equipment including radio and body cameras to help Montana law enforcement officers do their jobs more effectively.

“This grant will allow us to purchase some much needed night vision equipment. When deployed, this equipment will make difficult situations much safer for our officers and our community.” said Butte-Silver Bow Sheriff, Ed Lester. “I am very grateful for Senator Tester’s help in securing these funds for Butte-Silver Bow Law Enforcement.”

JAG funding and allocation is as follows:

  • $105,725 for Billing PD and Yellowstone County for equipment
  • $63,580 for Missoula for equipment and to maintain a property clerk position
  • $42,435 for Great Falls for interview recording equipment and body cameras
  • $41,421 for Helena PD for a liaison detective position
  • $28,193 for Flathead County for portable radio upgrades
  • $22,304 for Butte-Silver Bow for equipment
  • $13,925 for Gallatin County for equipment
  • $12,069 for Kalispell for hand held radios
  • $11,586 for Northern Cheyenne for the drug court program

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester has pushed for increased Byrne JAG program funding every year with bipartisan support. He is also pushing for additional funding for Montana law enforcement in his recently introduced bipartisan Assisting Narcotics and Trafficking Officers in Interdicting (ANTI) Drugs Act to combat drug trafficking.