Rep. Comstock Legislation to Help Regional Gang Task Forces Going To President For Signature
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Barbara Comstock’s (R-VA) Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act, which would establish a grant program to provide resources to state and local entities to curb the rise in gang activity and violence passed the House today by a strong bipartisan vote of 394 to 13 to 2 and will now go to the President for his signature. This legislation authorizes $50 million annually for FY2019 through FY2021. Thirty percent of the appropriated amounts will go directly to already-established gang task forces, like the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force, who are experiencing elevated transnational gang activity from gangs such as MS-13.
“Our communities need critical resources to battle violent transnational gangs like MS-13. The Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act will help provide regional gang task forces with the resources necessary to protect our children and neighbors from the criminal activity of dangerous gangs like MS-13,” said Congresswoman Barbara Comstock. “The Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force, comprised of 13 local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, explains that the best anti-gang method is a three-pronged approach: education, intervention/prevention, and enforcement. I have seen firsthand the good work that gang taskforces can do to remove the gang threats in our community. They are an important tool in crime prevention, and this legislation will make sure they have the tools they need to take on violent gangs like MS-13.”
“The Northern Virginia Police Chief's, Sheriff's and I would like to thank Congresswoman Comstock for her steadfast support of the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force,” said Jay Lanham, Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force. The passage of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act will provide the Task Force the opportunity obtain badly needed funding for Intervention/ Prevention/ Education and Suppression efforts. Representative Comstock is intimately aware of the need to focus on these violent, predatory gangs. She is a long-time resident of Northern Virginia and knows first-hand the daunting task of curbing gang crime and violence. She has always been available to support the Task Force. I commend her for her continued support and leadership in returning funding to the Task Force.”
“Our communities need backup to take down brutal transnational gangs like MS-13,” said Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. “The Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act will develop evidence-based policies to prevent crime and improve cooperation between Federal, State, and local law enforcement. I commend Rep. Barbara Comstock (VA-10) for passing this bill, which takes a tough and smart approach to protecting our neighborhoods from violence.”