Special to The Review

WASHINGTON — Economic stimulus money to fund anti-crime programs is on its way to Edinburg, Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15) announced March 17.

The City of Edinburg is set to receive $158,455 under Department of Justice's Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program. This vital anti-crime program provides support for a diverse range of law enforcement, prosecutorial and other initiatives to prevent and control crime.

"Providing law enforcement agencies with the necessary resources to keep our communities safe is incredibly important," Hinojosa said. "Unfortunately, due to current economic conditions, too many of our cities are stretched to the limit. This stimulus money comes not a moment too soon. It will make sure Edinburg's neighborhoods remain secure while preventing harmful cutbacks that could take police officers off our streets."

JAG money can be used by local governments to fund drug and gang task forces, cold case units, identity theft investigations, school violence prevention programs, witness protection programs, victims' rights and hate crime programs. The money can go toward providing technical assistance, training, personnel, equipment, supplies, contractual support, and information systems for criminal justice.

The JAG funds for Edinburg are provided thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as the Economic Stimulus Bill. On Feb. 17, President Obama signed the final version of this historic bill into law. This legislation will create or save 3.5 million jobs, immediately cut taxes for 95 percent of workers, and begin a historic economic transformation that will make the nation more globally competitive and energy independent. The money is to be invested quickly in the economy - with an estimated 74 percent spent in the first 18 months, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.