NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Department of Justice (DOJ) today announced that it is awarding more than $1.3 million to the State of Tennessee to meet critical law enforcement needs in the aftermath of last year’s Christmas Day bombing in Nashville. The funds are made available under the Emergency Federal Law Enforcement Assistance Program administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, a division of the Department’s Office of Justice Programs.
“These funds are a welcome relief and come at a most critical time for our partners at the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department”, said Acting U.S. Attorney Mary Jane Stewart. “The number of critical incidents responded to in 2020, all of which required a sustained and long-term response, greatly impacted the operational budget of our district’s largest municipal police department. These funds will help offset deficits and allow police operations to continue without major interruption.”
On December 25, 2020, a man detonated an explosive device inside a recreational vehicle in downtown Nashville. The incident resulted in the suspect’s death and injured eight citizens. The explosion damaged dozens of buildings in the surrounding area. Already fiscally impacted by the pandemic, the response to community-wide demonstrations and the effects of a devastating tornado earlier in the year, the city will use this grant to cover unbudgeted law enforcement duties, including overtime expenses, that have placed considerable financial hardship on the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.
“The explosion in downtown Nashville and the serious damage and injury it caused, on what should have been a day of peace and reflection for many, served as a stark reminder that the safety of our communities can never be taken for granted,” said OJP Acting Assistant Attorney General Maureen A. Henneberg. “These resources will help defray the costs associated with law enforcement’s role in responding to this shocking and terrifying public safety emergency.”
The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, advance racial equity in the administration of justice, assist victims and enhance the rule of law. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.