Briggs brings public safety funding to Montco

KING OF PRUSSIA, Dec. 20 – State Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, today announced over $7 million in public safety grants that he helped secure for Montgomery County has been awarded by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. As a PCCD commissioner, Briggs supported over $170 million statewide in funding to improve community safety and support local law enforcement. Over 220 law enforcement agencies and over 90 nonprofits will receive funding from this round of grants.

“This is a crucial step in the process of reducing gun violence in our communities,” Briggs said. “Due to the General Assembly’s inability to bring forward any common-sense gun legislation, this is the best option we have to curb future acts of violence.”

The Office of the Montgomery County District Attorney will receive $3,573,865 from the Gun Violence Investigation & Prosecution Grant Program to create a specialized and centralized Gun Violence Task Force, including forensic technology support for local municipalities in identifying, investigating and prosecuting gun trafficking, straw purchasing and gun violence.

Called Operation Cease Fire, GVIP funding will be used to:

  • Increase staffing for law enforcement personnel exclusively dedicated to combating the illegal use of firearms, ghost guns, gun trafficking and related violent offenses, including homicide by supporting the salary and benefits of a new prosecutor, two detectives, litigation assistant, crime/intelligence analyst and a BCI investigator.
  • Expand collaborative efforts and strengthen communication between law enforcement agencies by allowing officers from various agencies to work collectively on investigations without incurring additional expenses to their local departments.
  • Invest in next-gen forensic technology/equipment that allows law enforcement personnel to respond to the rise of gun violence more effectively and efficiently. Purchases to include a cell phone/social media analytical package, computers, forensic microscopes and ShotSpotter technology.
  • Promote research and data collection to be shared by local and federal investigations and prosecutions.

In addition to GVIP funding, Montco institutions will benefit from the Nonprofit Security Grant Program. Established in 2019 after the attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, these grants will provide for security enhancements designed to protect the safety and security of the users of a facility located in the Commonwealth that is owned or operated by a nonprofit organization.

The following nonprofits in our community have received funding:

  • Brotherhood Temple Brith Achim - $24,814. 
  • Congregation Beth Am Israel - $25,000. 
  • Kaiserman Jewish Community Center - $40,000.
  • Kohelet Yeshiva - $108,419.

Briggs said this is an ongoing process of ensuring safer communities in PA. Additional grants are expected to be awarded in the early spring to bolster security and explore new public safety measures.

The full list of PCCD grant recipients can be found here.