(KCPW News) The Salt Lake City Police Department received more than $2 million in federal grants to work on projects that are high on its list of priorities but currently under funded. Marjean Searcy, grants project coordinator for the department says it accepted $400,000 from the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women to protect elderly women in Salt Lake County.
“We have seen a rise in financial crimes, neglect and exploitation of elderly in our community and this one gave us an opportunity to apply for some funding that will specifically address women’s issues,” she says. “But it will also help us with other issues for men as well.”
Searcy says the money supports planning and training for the agencies that continually deal with the issue. The department also accepted almost $350,000 for a Pharmaceutical Drug Crime Project from federal and state programs for prevention efforts. She says pharmaceutical drug crimes are on the rise in Utah.
“It’s probably one of our fastest growing drug problems in our area, so we’ve got a variety of funding for that.” Searcy says. “We’re going to launch a public awareness campaign soon. We’ve got some training efforts going on there.”
She says that money will support about 20 agencies working on the project. The department will also get almost $400,000 for advancing DNA technology in the homicide unit and more than $100,000 for improving technology in the Forensic Science Lab.