DOJ awards $800,000 to police departments, nonprofit

The Department of Justice awarded a nonprofit $700,000 to help pay for legal services for victims of human trafficking.

The grant for Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid Inc. comes from the DOJ’s Office of Victims of Crime-Human Trafficking and is part of a series of monies awarded to four other entities, U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez announced Thursday.

The DOJ awarded a total of $802,799 to the five entities, with the nonprofit taking the bulk of the funds.

Pharr Police received $17,456 for rifle-resistant body armor and a Mobile Data Terminals project; Hidalgo County received $45,971 from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program; Edinburg Police Department received $25,568 for portable radios; and McAllen received $13,804 for the McAllen Crime Prevention project.

“Whether it be funding to improve efficiency of local police departments, or funding to bolster legal services for victims of trafficking, every dollar awarded is going to make an impact on the safety and security of residents in the 15th District of Texas,” Gonzalez said. “I thank the U.S. Department of Justice for recognizing the needs of these groups and granting them the opportunity to move forward with strategies that protect communities in the Rio Grande Valley.”