WASHINGTON – Sometimes, crime does pay — but in this case, it’s not the criminals.
Across Virginia, money seized from criminal activities will be given to local law enforcement agencies for new crime-fighting equipment.
The Virginia Attorney General’s office is awarding the $33 million in grants. The money will be used to buy everything from new cruisers to bulletproof vests. None of this money comes from taxpayers.
The money comes from part of a Medicaid fraud settlement. The Fairfax County Police Department received more than $775,000, says Second Lt. Andrew Wehrlen.
“It’s a way for us to get a lot of needed devices and items — things that the taxpayers doesn’t have to worry about paying for,” Wehrlen says.
He says the department will be getting several portable robots for SWAT and the bomb squad.
“They’re newer, obviously faster, their cameras and lighting systems are much better than what we currently have. So it will make their ability to do what they do better, safer,” Wehrlen says.
The major crimes division is asking for 15 laptops and 10 tablets.
“That’s going to make them mobile. That’s going to improve their ability while they’re out in the field to get and analyze information that they don’t have now. A lot of their cruisers don’t have the mobile computers. It will help them be more mobile and accessible in the field,” says Wehrlen.
The crash reconstruction unit is asking for Nikon 18-300mm camera lens.
Wehrlen says the cameras can be used to better document the fatal and near-fatal accidents. He says the bottom line is that all the equipment is needed and will help with investigations.
The Fairfax City Police Department is getting $591,000 from the Attorney General’s office.