(Greensburg, PA.) – Westmoreland County District Attorney Nicole W. Ziccarelli is elated to announce the Office of the District Attorney is a recipient of a significant Local Law Enforcement Support Grant. The District Attorney’s Office applied for the Local Law Enforcement Support Grant earlier this year.
We were informed by the offices of Interim Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward and Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman that the Westmoreland County District Attorney’s Office was approved for the grant worth a total of $497,042. The Local Law Enforcement Support Grant Program was established with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency as part of Act 54 of 2022.
The purpose of this grant program is to provide funding to local law enforcement agencies to implement information technology improvements, hardware and software equipment, non-sworn personnel costs, non-reoccurring personnel costs for sworn officers, policy development, and evidence-based practices and training. This grant is meant to support local law enforcement and intended to reduce violent crime rates, increase clearance rates and improve manpower.
The District Attorney’s Office intends to use this funding toward a self-sufficient digital forensic lab, which will provide us the capabilities to analyze all digital evidence, including computers, and cell phones, etc. The digital forensic lab will be operated by a civilian forensic analyst and will be available to all law enforcement agencies throughout Westmoreland County.
The demand for forensics examination of these devices is at an all-time high, and wait times for retrieval are ever increasing. District Attorney Nicole W. Ziccarelli said some of this funding will also be used to upgrade our reporting management system for the county Detective Bureau. A total of $135 million in federal COVID relief under the American Rescue Plan Act was allocated through the state budget to support this initiative.
In addition to our office receiving this sizable grant, local police departments throughout the county were also awarded funding: $478,043 to Jeannette Police, $268,570 to Monessen Police, $152,378 to Latrobe Police and $106,928 to Ligonier Valley Police.
“I want to personally thank Interim Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward, Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman and the Pennsylvania Senate for approving this grant funding,” District Attorney Nicole W. Ziccarelli said. “Through their vision and leadership, Westmoreland County is well on its way to having the most elite and fully funded law enforcement agencies in the Commonwealth.”
“The more than $1.5 million in law enforcement grants for Westmoreland County will position our local law enforcement to better protect and serve our communities through better equipment, information technology improvement, and training to name a few,” said Interim Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward. “With the rise in crime across the Commonwealth, it is critical that we work with local law enforcement to help provide them with the tools and resources needed to ensure Pennsylvanians feel safe in their homes and in the communities where they live and work.”
“As we look at ways to strengthen communities throughout Pennsylvania, investing in public safety measures is of the utmost importance,” said Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman. “I commend Westmoreland County District Attorney Nicole Ziccarelli and local law enforcement leaders, for their unwavering determination and dedication to protecting our communities. I look forward to seeing the positive impacts that these grants will have throughout the county.”