Visclosky Secures Funding for State-of-the-Art Crimefighting Tools
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Pete Visclosky today secured federal funding to bring state-of-the-art crimefighting technology to several Northwest Indiana police departments.
“Fighting crime in Northwest Indiana is one of my top priorities,” Visclosky said. “Our police officers need the most modern technology we can give them, so they can protect the public from the scourge of crime.”
Visclosky secured a Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant for the acquisition of an Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS). This technology, to be shared among several jurisdictions, will allow Northwest Indiana police departments to enter fingerprints into a digital system that instantly checks the prints against state and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) records. This is important because it allows instant checks for aliases and the entire criminal history of a suspect in custody. If a suspect committed crimes in any other states under other names, Northwest Indiana law-enforcement officers will be able to find that out immediately. Visclosky secured $50,000 in FY 2002 for this system. U.S. Attorney Joseph Van Bokkelen will decide where the AFIS will be located.
“With this system, a criminal who sold drugs in California can be immediately identified and taken off our streets for good,” Visclosky said. “Our law-enforcement officers will now have the technology they need to keep these despicable lawbreakers behind bars, and away from our children and all law-abiding citizens.”
Also, Visclosky secured a COPS grant to help the Griffith Police Department install video cameras in its squad cars. These cameras will provide indisputable, permanent proof of what officers hear, see and do during traffic stops, which will protect the integrity of the department, officers’ reputations, and the lives of officers and civilians alike. Federal funding for this project comes to $45,000 in FY 2002.
“Video cameras keep officers on the streets and out of protracted court hearings,” Visclosky said. “When officers have to spend less time in court, they have more time to protect our citizens and our property.”
Visclosky, a member of the powerful House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, secured the funding for the two COPS grants comes in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2002 Commerce-Justice-State Conference Report.
Visclosky has a long history of securing federal funding for crimefighting initiatives in Northwest Indiana. Since 1997, he has secured $18 million for Northwest Indiana’s High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. This funding has resulted in the seizure of more than 10,885 kilograms of marijuana; 761 kilograms of cocaine; 1.82 kilograms of heroin; and 6.64 kilograms of methamphetamine. In addition, HIDTA personnel have arrested 1,082 suspects, while seizing more than 529 weapons and $3.7 million in cash and property during that time. Visclosky also has secured more than $14 million since 1994 to put 227 new police officers on the street in Northwest Indiana.
“I will continue to work hard in the future to provide more federal funding to our law-enforcement officers,” Visclosky said. “When we give our police officers the tools they need, they can do their jobs more effectively, which means safer streets and safer communities for all Northwest Indiana citizens.”