The Escambia County is getting two Byrne Grants. The Byrne Grants give federal assistance to state and local law-enforcement agencies to fight crimes. The funds can used for Law enforcement programs; Prosecution and court programs; Prevention and education programs; Corrections and community corrections programs; Drug treatment and enforcement programs; Planning, evaluation, and technology improvement programs; Crime victim and witness programs.
One is directly from Department of Justice ($834,000) and the other passes through FDLE to the County (est. $600,000).
Typically, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office manages the grants. It asks the Board of County Commissioners to hold the public hearings and they work together on the disbursement of the funds. The ECSO bike patrol has been funded with these grants in the past.
The ECSO found out today that County Administrator Bob McLaughlin has pulled the grants from the BOCC agenda. Instead he wants the grants to be put before the county’s public safety committee (last time they met was to build four padded cells at the jail), according to sources in the ECSO. Last time that commitee met was to build four padded cells at the jail.
Looks like McLaughlin is out to punish Sheriff Morgan for his letter to the BOCC. Expect the fireworks to continue, unless the commissioners step in.