WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker and Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (N.J.-09) today announced the awarding of $11,816,087 to the State of New Jersey in Byrne-JAG funding from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to support the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will allow the state to hire additional frontline workers and first responders, purchase personal protective equipment, train staff and address the needs of inmates in state and local prisons, jails and detention centers.

“We have an obligation to do everything we can to prevent the spread of this deadly disease, and that includes protecting the health and safety of people on the front lines of this pandemic,” said Sen. Booker. “While there is far more work left to do to protect everyone in New Jersey, especially our vulnerable communities like our state’s incarcerated population, this federal funding takes another step towards providing the resources needed to address this public health crisis.”

“This federal funding will provide needed resources to New Jersey’s first responders on the frontlines of this pandemic to ensure they have the staffing and equipment, including personal protective gear, to keep them and their communities safe,” said Sen. Menendez. “This funding will also ensure those working and being held in our prisons and detention centers, a vulnerable and often forgotten population, can get medical care in the event of an outbreak inside. While this funding is a great step in protecting our communities, New Jersey needs more and I will continue pushing the Administration to distribute additional funds.”

“New Jersey is winning our fight against one of the worst epidemics in the world, but we still have a lot of challenges in front of us,” said Rep. Pascrell. “This public safety grant is another important recognition from the federal government of our state’s unique burden. Garden Staters will need a lot more help from our government to emerge from this terrible moment and we will keep demanding every bit of financial support that we deserve.”

The federal funding was provided in the CARES Act and can be used to support a broad range of activities to prevent, prepare for and respond to the coronavirus, including, but not limited to: overtime pay; equipment, including law enforcement and medical personal protective equipment (PPE); hiring; supplies, such as gloves, masks, sanitizer; training; travel expenses, particularly related to the distribution of resources to the most impacted areas; and addressing the medical needs of inmates in state, county and local prisons, jails, and detention centers.