Posted on November 9, 2005
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today announced that the Fiscal Year 2006 Science, State, Justice, Commerce and Related Agencies Appropriations conference report includes nearly $13 million for Tennessee projects. The conference report must now be passed by the House and Senate and go to the President for signature before becoming law. “This is an important piece of legislation that supports law enforcement, scientific research, technical innovation, and economic growth across Tennessee,” Frist said. “This funding provides vital assistance as our state addresses the challenges of the 21st century. Senator Alexander and I remain committed to policies that promote public safety while encouraging valuable research and development that will ensure Tennessee holds a national leadership role in the fields of science and technology.” “This bill funds important education and scientific research initiatives that will help Tennessee students, universities and businesses maintain our competitive edge in a global economy,” Alexander said. “It also provides funding to assist local efforts in economic development and law enforcement. I will continue to work with Senator Frist to provide federal support for projects that improve lives, jobs opportunities and communities in Tennessee.” Tennessee funding in the bill includes: STATEWIDE $3 million for a new Tennessee Statewide Methamphetamine Task Force to ensure all regions of the state have the training and equipment they need to address the state’s methamphetamine crisis. $1 million for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) to develop a statewide crime tracking system, which will support a statewide methamphetamine intelligence and operational law enforcement computer database to assist the Tennessee statewide taskforce. WEST TENNESSEE $1 million to establish a NASA Stars Program at Rhodes College. The NASA Stars Program offers underserved students and their teachers an opportunity to experience an intense, educational program that encourages growth and development in the areas of math, science, and technology. Rhodes College will collaborate with NASA to expand this program to Memphis schools. $1 million for the Crisis Intervention Team program at the University of Memphis. The program is based on an innovative model of police based crisis intervention and community health care and advocacy partnerships. The University of Memphis’ Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, the Memphis Police Department and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill will support expanded training for patrol officers and administrators and evaluate effectiveness. $700,000 for the City of Memphis and Shelby County to implement an integrated regional public safety radio system. Improving Memphis’ public safety infrastructure is critical to ensuring an effective response in the event of a major emergency or terrorist attack. $600,000 for the City of Jackson and the Jackson Police Department to install mobile data terminals. $500,000 for the Leadership Institute in Judicial Education at the University of Memphis to support intensive training programs for judges, judicial educators and court administrators. During its 13-year history, over 400 judges, judicial educators, and court administrators from 44 states have participated in the program. $500,000 for Gibson County to acquire a comprehensive regional visual intelligence tool. Funding will be used to develop detailed aerial libraries for 9 counties to assist in a variety of public safety and emergency response activities. MIDDLE TENNESSEE $500,000 for the Nashville Drug Court Support Foundation, which is the non-profit organization that supports the operational needs of the Davidson County Drug Court. The Davidson County Drug Court operates the nation’s only residential drug court treatment facility for non-violent offenders. $360,000 for Tennessee Technological University to support methamphetamine detection and remediation research. Tennessee Technological University’s Center for Structural Chemistry will work with local law enforcement to develop new detection equipment and procedures, as well as ways to analyze and address the environmental impact of methamphetamine labs. $300,000 for the Sun-Climate and Extrasolar Planets Research Program at Tennessee State University in Nashville. Over the last 15 years, TSU has been developing and operating a completely automated observatory with the capability to make photometric, spectroscopic, and imaging observations without the need for human observers. TSU’s astronomers have published more than 300 papers and abstracts in the professional astronomical literature and have received local, national, and international recognition. $200,000 for the “Bridges to the Universe” program at the Adventure Science Center in Nashville, bringing the nation’s top resources in space and science research to Nashville’s doorstep. As a part of an expanded wing at the Sudekum Planetarium, the Adventure Science Center will provide a world-class facility to serve students throughout Middle Tennessee. $200,000 for the Project Return Adult Offender Program in Nashville. Project Return, established in 1979, provides training and assistance to increase employability, improve life skills, and reduce recidivism through education programs. EAST TENNESSEE $2.5 million for the University of Tennessee Law Enforcement Innovation Center (LEIC) in Knoxville. LEIC provides innovative and advanced training and technical assistance to law enforcement agencies across the country. Home to the National Forensic Academy and the new Center for Homeland Security Training, LEIC is at the forefront of law enforcement training, development, and forensics education. $300,000 for the East Tennessee Ozone Study to monitor ground-level ozone and other air pollutants in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The study, which is conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is playing an integral role in the collection of air quality data. $225,000 for the Chattanooga Reentry Consortium, which is a collaboration of agencies in Chattanooga and Hamilton County in the fields of mental health, family and children services, substance abuse, employment, housing and law enforcement. The goal is to enhance public safety by improving coordination of community and public services for offenders and their families and to enhance supervision and expand the range of sanctions available for high risk offenders. $200,000 for the Small Business Incubator Program at Knoxville College, increasing its work with community businesses to provide students with entrepreneurial experiences through innovative local partnerships.