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MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen today announced the awarding of $848,600 in state Penalty Assessment Surcharge funds to programs throughout the state that investigate and prosecute drug crimes. The Penalty Assessment Surcharge funding is supplemented by an additional $1,104,263 in federal Byrne Memorial/Justice Assistance Grants through the Office of Justice Assistance. This year's grant program will help fund 18 Multi-jurisdictional Enforcement Groups (MEG Units) and three Assistant District Attorney positions that work specifically on prosecuting drug crimes.
"Drug and criminal gang related crime is a serious problem in Wisconsin. I am pleased to help fund these MEG units that serve on the front line in the war on drugs," said Van Hollen. "By combining the resources of multiple law enforcement jurisdictions, these groups are able to develop multifaceted, cooperative drug investigations."
In addition to the 18 MEG Units, these grants also fund Assistant District Attorney positions to work on drug prosecutions in Dane, Milwaukee and St. Croix Counties. The awards are meant to cover costs of operations in Calendar Year 2009.
Historically, the statewide MEG Units were funded largely through federal Byrne/JAG grant funding. As those funds have seen reductions over recent years, the state developed the process of supplementing federal funding with state funding. State funding now makes up over 43% of annual MEG Unit and ADA funding. No taxpayer monies are used.
For more information on all programs receiving awards, please go here.