James City County Police will receive almost a half-million in federal funds to upgrade its programs to prevent sexual and domestic violence, state officials announced Monday.
The $450,000 grant will be awarded over three years and will be used to help police, prosecutors, victim advocates and agencies that support sexual assault and domestic violence victims work together, James City County Police Chief Brad Rinehimer said.
Rinehimer said the department is excited and pleased with the grant award. He praised Amy Jacobson, coordinator at Colonial Community Corrections, for her all of her work preparing the grant proposal.
He said James City was the only police department in Virginia to receive the grant. York-Poquoson Sheriff's Office has also received a similar grant in years past, the chief said.
“While the money will be funneled through James City County, it will benefit the entire area,” Rinehimer said. “This grant will really bring us all together fight sexual assault and domestic violence as a team.”
U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine released information on the Department of Justice award on Sept. 28.
“One in three homicide victims in Virginia is the victim of domestic or family violence, “Warner said. “These funds will support victims in Williamsburg and James City County area and provide police and prosecutors with important resources to hold offenders accountable and put violent criminals behind bars.”
The federal funding, awarded through the Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of Protection Orders Program, will be used by James City County Police for education and training programs that will help criminal justice professionals investigate and prosecute individuals who are suspected of crimes against women.
This many include funding for a new victims' right advocate to work part-time and to add hours to other positions that already exist for work on sexual and domestic violence cases, Rinehimer said.
In 2013, Warner and Kaine supported the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act, a bill that authorizes the funding available in today’s grant and essential protection for survivors of sexual violence and domestic abuse.
“This federal funding will help local law enforcement officials track and prosecute incidents of sexual assault and domestic violence against women,” Kaine said. “I’m pleased this grant will help ensure Williamsburg and James City County have the necessary resources and training to support survivors, hold perpetrators accountable and prevent crime.”
Reach Canty at (757) 345-2341.