BALTIMORE - A $58,000 portion of a $850 million federal grant to help public safety agencies shouldering COVID-19-related costs has been earmarked for law enforcement and correctional departments in Cecil County, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
The $58,000 represents the sum available to Cecil County out of the $6.6 million allotted to Maryland.
Lt. Michael Holmes, a spokesman for the Cecil County Sheriff's Office, told the Cecil Whig on Thursday that CCSO would apply for a yet-to-be determined portion of that $58,000 federal grant, noting that the filing deadline is May 29.
"It is a grant relating to COVID-19. We (CCSO officials) would have to meet to determine what we would need. It could be used to offset the cost of overtime pay and supplies," Holmes outlined, noting that CCSO also oversees the Cecil County Detention Center.
Authorized by the recent stimulus legislation signed by President Trump, the $850 million grant through the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program will allow eligible state, local, and tribal governments to apply for the federal funds, according to Marcia Murphy, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office.
“Law enforcement and public safety officials are facing extraordinary challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic,” U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur explained in a written statement. “These resources will help support their efforts to promote public safety during this difficult time.”
The federal funds - which can be applied for retroactively to Jan. 20 - may be used by public safety agencies to "hire personnel, pay overtime costs, cover protective equipment and supplies, address correctional inmates’ medical needs and defray expenses related to the distribution of resources to hard-hit areas," Murphy reported.
Office of Justice Programs Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan commented, “This is an unprecedented moment in our nation’s history and an especially dangerous one for our front-line law enforcement officers, corrections officials, and public safety professionals. We are grateful to the Congress for making these resources available and for the show of support this program represents.”