BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Department of Justice made $850 million available to help public safety agencies respond to challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic. Maryland agencies will get $6.6 million of that funding.

The money will come from The Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program that was recently authorized in the recent stimulus legislation from President Donald Trump.

States and local jurisdictions can immediately apply for the funds.

“Law enforcement and public safety officials are facing extraordinary challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “These resources will help support their efforts to promote public safety during this difficult time.”

Funds may be used 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, among other activities. Grant funds may be applied retroactively to Jan. 20, 2020, subject to federal supplanting rules.

“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,” said Office of Justice Programs Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan. “We are grateful to the Congress for making these resources available and for the show of support this program represents.”

Agencies that were eligible for the fiscal year 2019 State and Local Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program are candidates for this emergency funding. A complete list of eligible jurisdictions and their allocations can be found at https://bja.ojp.gov/program/fy20-cesf-allocations.

For more information about the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program, please visit https://bja.ojp.gov/funding/opportunities/bja-2020-18553. For more information about the Office of Justice Programs, please visit https://www.ojp.gov/.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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