As reported by nj.com, two dozen Middlesex County police departments will share $120,000 in funds confiscated from criminals to develop community policing programs, Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan said. The grants will be used to create programs that enhance public awareness and combat such crimes as bias intimidation, bullying and vandalism.
The prosecutor said 22 municipal police departments, the Rutgers University Police Department, and the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Department will each receive a $5,000 “Law Enforcement Response to Community Concerns Grant.” Kaplan, with approval from the Office of the Attorney General, is allocating $120,000 from funds that were seized from criminal defendants who had obtained proceeds through illegal activities such as selling drugs.
The municipal departments are: Carteret, Dunellen, East Brunswick, Edison, Helmetta, Highland Park, Metuchen, Middlesex Borough, Milltown, Monroe, New Brunswick, North Brunswick, Old Bridge, Perth Amboy, Piscataway, Plainsboro, Sayreville, South Brunswick, South Plainfield, South River, Spotswood, and Woodbridge.
The program is sponsored by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders. “These grants can help protect and improve the quality of life for all the citizens of Middlesex County,” Kaplan said. “This has always been a goal of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.”
In order to qualify for a grant, each police department was required to develop a plan that seeks to deal with a quality-of-life issue, such as curbing graffiti, criminal mischief, bullying, or bias-related crime. “Our goal is for our residents to have safe communities to live in, to work in and to play in,” Freeholder Ronald G. Rios, chair of the county’s Law and Public Safety Committee.