Gang Task Force gets federal grant

The Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force, which includes Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park, has been awarded a $1.769 million grant from the U.S. Justice Department this week.

The grant comes through the fiscal year 2007 Edward Byrne Memorial Discretionary Grants program administered through the department’s Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance. Previous money for the task force has come through the same funding stream and was specifically included in annual spending bills approved by Congress.

Up until now, there was no funding specifically earmarked out of the grants program for the task force for fiscal 2007. That meant that the task force had to compete with other similar organizations to obtain a portion of that pool of money, said Dan Scandling, a spokesperson for Rep. Frank Wolf, R-10th.

In July, $1.5 million had been earmarked for the task force for fiscal 2008, which starts Monday.

“The task force has and continues to do outstanding work,” Wolf said. “It is really making a difference and has become a model for similar task forces across the country. The cooperation between agencies, and across jurisdictions, has been the key.”