A bill headed to Gov. Jim Justice for consideration would provide law enforcement officers with training to appropriately respond to people with autism spectrum disorders, Alzheimer’s and related dementias.
CHARLESTON — West Virginia was awarded over $1.7 million as a recipient of the Byrne State Crisis Intervention Program last week to prevent guns from getting in the wrong hands.
The Justice Department announced the 49 awards from the program — an investment of over $231 million — to states, territories and the District of Columbia on Feb. 14.
The program funds state crisis intervention court proceedings such as extreme risk protection order (ERPO) programs to prevent guns from going into the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves or others.
The Justice Department awarded $1,755,887 to West Virginia as part of the program authorized by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act of 2022, which aims to address and reduce gun violence.
“This award will support a collaborative partnership with an overall goal of reducing gun-related violence throughout the state, including the Southern District of West Virginia,” U.S. Attorney Will Thompson said in a press release. “The funding will help the advisory board assess such evidence-based strategies as extreme risk protection order (ERPO) programs, behavioral health deflection, and drug, mental health, and veterans’ treatment courts.”
President Joe Biden approved the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act in June 2022.
As a result of the award, the Justice and Community Services will develop the West Virginia Crisis Intervention Advisory Board to inform and guide the state’s related gun violence reduction programs and initiatives. The board will include representatives from law enforcement, the community, courts, prosecution, behavioral health providers, victim services and legal counsel.