GATE CITY — Three area Southwest Virginia law enforcement agencies were recently awarded more than $300,000 in grants from the Virginia Attorney General’s Office to help purchase new equipment and cover overtime pay and training for employees.
A total of $315,911 was given to sheriff’s offices in Scott and Lee counties and the Weber City Police Department. The allocations were part of $33 million in grants the attorney general dispersed earlier this month to just over 100 law enforcement agencies across Virginia.
The grant funding came from a $115 million settlement Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s office received from its 2012 Medicaid fraud settlement with pharmaceutical company Abbott Laboratories. Cuccinelli’s office was given the money after serving as lead investigator in the settlement, which at $1.5 billion was the second largest of its kind in U.S. history.
“Because of the great work of our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit ... the office earned $115 million in asset forfeiture funds on top of our actual fraud recoveries,” Cuccinelli said. “We wanted to share that money with state and local law enforcement to help provide needed equipment and training that will be paid for at the expense of criminals, not the taxpayers. We realize that local budgets are tight, and we also realize the risks that Virginia’s law enforcers take and the daily sacrifices they make to keep their communities safe ...”
The grants awarded locally included $141,612 for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, $138,163 for the Scott County Sheriff’s Office and $36,136 for the Weber City Police Department.
Sheriff’s offices in Washington, Dickenson and Tazewell counties also received grants.
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