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Image of the Virginia AG Seal

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Ken Cuccinelli
Attorney General

900 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

 

For media inquiries only, contact:  
Brian J. Gottstein
Phone: (804)786-5874 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (best contact method)

Local sheriffs, police chiefs get $33 million from AG for new crime-fighting equipment and training

- Cuccinelli uses money taken from criminals to provide new cruisers, School Resource Officer training, shooter response training, bulletproof vests, and more for Virginia law enforcement -

RICHMOND (December 18, 2013) - Sheriffs, police chiefs, the State Police, and other law enforcers from around Virginia joined Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in Richmond today as he distributed $33 million he took from criminals and is now using to fund requests from law enforcement for new equipment and training.

 

The funds will be used to provide training to School Resource Officers and SWAT teams; to provide new police cruisers, new computers and portable radios, bulletproof vests, training shooting ranges, night vision for finding missing people, money for gang reduction programs, and more.  A link to the complete list of grants and localities receiving them is below.

 

The money is part of the attorney general's $115 million his Medicaid Fraud Control Unit received from its 2012 Abbott Labs fraud settlement. Cuccinelli's Medicaid fraud unit was the lead investigator in the second largest Medicaid fraud settlement in U.S. history - $1.5 billion. Abbott Laboratories illegally marketed its drug Depakote for uses not approved as safe and effective by the Food and Drug Administration. On top of the restitution to the state's Medicaid program, the office earned the $115 million in asset forfeiture funds for its work as lead investigator.

 

The attorney general stressed that this money was coming from criminals, not the taxpayers. Ultimately, when all law enforcement requests are approved, Cuccinelli will be sharing $105 million of the $115 million with state and local law enforcement and keeping $10 million for equipment and programs within his own agency.

 

Click here for localities receiving funds today, and the amounts and uses for the money. The list also contains media contacts for the agencies. Grant amounts for each locality were based on proposals submitted by the agencies. They were reviewed by career employees at the attorney general's office who regularly work with local law enforcement.

 

Click here for photos of departments receiving checks today. The pictures are captioned, identifying the departments and the people in the photos. You are free to use the photos online, in print, or on air in articles related to this story. To download from Flickr, click on a thumbnail of a photo, then right click on the photo to bring up a menu. In the menu, click on a size you want to view, and a download link will appear.

 

"Public safety is a chief concern of mine as attorney general. My attorneys, investigators, and I work side-by-side with police and sheriffs' departments on gang prevention, rooting out Internet predators, and stopping human trafficking. That partnership only strengthens the tremendous respect we have for the work they do," said Cuccinelli.

 

He continued, "Because of the great work of our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit led by Randy Clouse, the office earned $115 million in asset forfeiture funds on top of our actual fraud recoveries. We wanted to share that money with state and local law enforcement to help provide needed equipment and training that will be paid for at the expense of criminals, not the taxpayers. We realize that local budgets are tight, and we also realize the risks that Virginia's law enforcers take and the daily sacrifices they make to keep their communities safe. I'm proud that today we could help them get some of the additional equipment and training they asked for."

 

Examples of how the money will be used:

  • Hundreds of in-car computers, cameras, and radio systems will be upgraded around the commonwealth - many are outdated, out of warranty, and no longer supported by their manufacturers.
  • The Bedford County Sheriff's Office will purchase a rapid response vehicle for the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to use in searches during child exploitation and abduction cases throughout Southwest Virginia. 
  • The State Police will use $1.5 million to construct a simulations facility to train officers in the entry and clearing of different building layouts. The facility will be equipped with moveable walls on tracks that can be rapidly changed to represent different interiors, such as an office complex, a school, an apartment, a hotel, and more. 
  • The Department of Criminal Justice Services will use some of its money to implement a statewide online and classroom School Resource Officer training program.  
  • The Department of Criminal Justice Services will also use $500,000 to implement a statewide gang reduction program and $1.4 million to implement a statewide Active Shooter Response training program for more than 19,000 local and state law enforcement officers, so they can effectively and safely respond to criminal or terrorist acts. 
  • The Buckingham County Sheriff's Office, the Capitol Police, the Chesterfield County Sheriff's Office, and several other local police and sheriffs' departments will get bulletproof vests for patrol use and active shooter situations. 
  • The Hopewell Police Department and several other departments will be purchasing tactical supplies for their SWAT teams to better protect themselves and the public, and to bring crisis situations to safer and faster conclusions.  
  • Several departments will be buying more up-to-date automated fingerprint systems and equipment for their forensic labs to help them better gather and analyze evidence. 
  • The Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force will use its proceeds to help fund uniformed officers for gang suppression initiatives in neighborhoods with high levels of gang crimes. 
  • The Pulaski Police Department will buy 10 new patrol vehicles to replace aging vehicles. Several other departments will be doing the same. 
  • The Albemarle County, Charlottesville, and UVA police departments are jointly building an indoor regional firearms training facility that will serve more than 400 officers in Central Virginia. 
  • The Appomattox County Sheriff's Office will be getting night vision units to help capture suspects and locate lost or missing children and adults.  
  • The Tazewell County Sheriff's Office will be purchasing ATVs and four-wheel drive SUVs, which will allow them quick access to rural areas in emergency situations. 
  • The Hampton Police Department will be buying a dive team truck for underwater searches. 
  • The Alexandria Police Department will get new electronic surveillance equipment, as well as additional computer forensics training for its officers.

Today's event was held at the Virginia Capitol.