Public Safety

Dedicated to helping improve the health and safety of individuals who live and work in Hardin, Jefferson, and Orange Counties.

 

The Public Safety Division administers the following programs:

• Criminal Justice Program  (CJP)
• Texas Community Development Program (TCDP) (formerly the Community Development Block Grant Program)
• Texas Review and Comment System (TRACS)

Criminal Justice Program

The Public Safety Division serves as liaison between local agencies and the Office of the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division (CJD).  The CJD provides funding opportunities to local governments, non-profit organizations, school districts and other applicable agencies through the following sources:

  • Criminal Justice Planning Fund (Fund 421)
  • Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act Fund
  • Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Fund
  • Texas Narcotic Control Program
  • Victims of Crime Act Fund
  • Violence Against Women Act Fund
  • Crime Stoppers Assistance Fund; and
  • Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grant Fund

Once an application is submitted to the Governor’s Office and processed, it is reviewed, scored and prioritized by the SETRPC’s Criminal Justice Advisory Committee (CJAC).  The CJAC consists of up to twenty members from multiple disciplines within Hardin, Jefferson and Orange counties.  These scores are then submitted to the Governor’s Office via a priority list where final funding decisions and awards are made to individual applicants.

Each year, three community planning groups convene to identify (1) needs, (2) gaps in service, and (3) existing resources in the SETRPC Region to which grant funds might be applied.  

Types of local projects currently funded are: 

  • prevention
  • diversion
  • law enforcement
  • probation
  • prosecution
  • victim services, and
  • regional training

The Public Safety Division also provides technical assistance to both public and non-profit criminal justice agencies in the Southeast Texas region that are seeking state and federal grant funding.  Technical assistance includes research, proofreading, clarification of funding category requirements as well as guidance where required procedures for application submittals are concerned.  SETRPC also administers the following three grant programs funded with Office of the Governor’s CJD funds:

Regional Police Academy
SETRPC contracts with the Lamar Institute of Technology to provide basic and advanced law enforcement training in the Southeast Texas area.  Funds are also available to area law enforcement officers in the form of out-of-region training scholarships.  This allows for tuition and travel assistance to officers that require specialized training outside of our local service area.

Regional Juvenile Alternatives
SETRPC contracts with juvenile probation departments within Hardin, Jefferson and Orange counties to assist with the high costs of providing services to juveniles referred to them.  Funds are used to purchase services such as residential placements, psychological examinations/evaluations, counseling sessions, medical/dental services and/or transportation expenditures.

Training for Juvenile Personnel
SETRPC offers reimbursement for travel/training expenses incurred by personnel within the three-county region who deal with juvenile justice system referrals.  Funds are also used to contract with outside training providers.  Generally, personnel who receive services are probation officers, detention officers and law enforcement officers.

For applications and/or further information on criminal justice funding sources, go to Office of the Governor .

For questions and/or comments concerning this program, please contact:

Shanna Burke
Public Safety Division, Director
2210 Eastex Freeway
Beaumont, TX  77703
Phone: (409) 899-8444 , extension 144
Fax: (409) 347-0138
Email:
  sburke@setrpc.org

Texas Community Development Program

The TCDP, created by the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, is designed to promote the development of viable communities and upgrade the living conditions of low and moderate income persons.  This goal is accomplished by funding projects that improve public facilities and housing conditions in lower income neighborhoods, by expanding economic opportunities that create or retain jobs and by eliminating conditions hazardous to the public health.

All activities funded under TCDP must meet one or more of three criteria below:

  • Benefit primarily low and moderate income persons (at least 51% of the beneficiaries must have a family income of less than 80% of the area median income)
  • Aid in the prevention or elimination of slums and blight; and/or
  • Meet other community development needs of particular urgency which represent an immediate threat to the health and safety of the residents of the community.

Jurisdictions eligible to participate under the Discretionary Category of TCDP funding are units of general purpose local government that are not eligible under the Entitlement Category.  In Southeast Texas, this includes seventeen eligible cities and all three counties (Hardin, Jefferson and Orange). The TCDP is funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  There are two major categories of funding.  The Entitlement Category is for larger cities (such as Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange) and larger counties (such as Harris), while the Discretionary Category is for small cities and counties and channeled through the state government.  In Texas, the program is administered by the Office of Rural and Community Affairs (ORCA).

Additional Resource Links:

State:
Office of Rural Community Affairs

For questions and/or comments concerning this program, please contact:

Shanna Burke
Public Safety Division, Director
2210 Eastex Freeway
Beaumont, TX  77703
Phone: (409) 899-8444 , extension 7516
Fax: (409) 347-0138
Email: 
sburke@setrpc.org

Texas Review and Comment System (TRACS)

The TRACS process originated with the Federal Office of Management and Budget Circular A-95, which established a clearinghouse for grant application review in each state.  In Texas, the 24 council of governments were designated to serve this function.  Executive Order 12372, issued in 1982 by President Reagan, delegated control over the process to the respective states.  In Texas, Article 1011(m) of the Texas Civil Statutes requires that applicants for state and/or federal assistance submit their applications for review to the appropriate regional planning agency(s) and directs the governor to issue guidelines for carrying out such reviews.

The resulting TRACS is our instrument for complying with these regulations as well providing an opportunity to review and make comment on various plans, grant proposals and funding application impacting jurisdictions within Southeast Texas.

When an applicant is instructed by a specific funding agency to submit a copy of its proposal to SETRPC for review under the TRACS system,  the Public Safety Division makes every effort to become familiar with the application, attempts to contact any/all respective local official(s) for feedback, and develops comments as to the project’s merit and potential impact to the community in which it will be carried out.  The Division then incorporates the comments, if any, into a letter it provides back to the applicant.  As part of the overall process, a duplicate letter is also sent to the Office of the Governor.

 

For questions and/or comments concerning this program, please contact:

Shanna Burke
Public Safety Division, Director
2210 Eastex Freeway
Beaumont, TX  77703
Phone: (409) 899-8444 , extension 7516
Fax: (409) 347-0138
Email: 
sburke@setrpc.org

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