NEWTOWN, Conn. — The federal government will reimburse Connecticut law enforcement agencies a total of $2.5 million for costs they incurred as a result of the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Wednesday.

The Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Assistance will compensate the agencies — including state police and the Newtown and Monroe police departments — “for costs related to overtime, forensics and security during and in the aftermath of the crime,' Holder said in a press release.

“Providing support to the law enforcement agencies that responded to the horrific scene that awaited them at Sandy Hook Elementary School is one small action we can take to bring healing to a community that's been devastated,' Holder said. “Just over eight months after this senseless tragedy, those who lost their lives, and those who continue to grieve, remain in our thoughts and prayers.'

Twenty-six people died in the school shootings — 20 first-graders and six female educators — when 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot his way into the school the morning of Dec. 14. Before going to the school, he shot and killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, in their Sandy Hook home.


Advertisement

The $2.5 million total from the BJA's Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program includes $663,444 for state police, $602,293 for the town of Newtown and $882,812 for the town of Monroe, plus $296,836 for “partner agencies' that helped out in the wake of the shootings.

That assistance included providing crowd and traffic control and, at some points, policing Newtown's streets.

“This critical funding will compensate the Connecticut State Police and Newtown Police Department for their tireless work investigating this crime, as well as more than two-dozen police departments from across the state whose officers responded to Newtown within minutes of this horrific act and, for months, helped to provide security and comfort to a courageous community,' said acting Connecticut U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy thanked the Justice Department for its assistance.

“Our first responders, including state and local law enforcement, so bravely responded to this horrific event — not only those from the Town of Newtown, but also from the surrounding communities, for which we are forever grateful,' Malloy said in a press release. “This grant will provide some assistance to our state and our local law enforcement in covering some of the resulting financial costs.'

Newtown First Selectwoman Pat Llodra said that “for many months we have been working with representatives of the (Justice Department) to document and justify expenses related to police overtime, forensics and security subsequent to the shootings at Sandy Hook School on Dec 14.

“In order to pay these bills in the months following the event the town 'borrowed' from cash reserves,' Llodra said in an email. “This grant will allow us to repay what we took from savings.

U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, both D-Conn., and U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5, all hailed the grant as well.

“While these federal funds will go a long way towards reimbursing state and local police for their service, much work remains to truly honor their bravery and keep faith with the victims and families of Sandy Hook,' said Blumenthal.

Murphy said, “I'm proud to stand with the governor, my colleagues in our state's delegation, and the people of Connecticut to help the Newtown community recover and heal.'

Esty, who represents Newtown, said, “Our communities are grateful for the brave first responders who put their lives on the line to save others. We are acutely aware that many continue to live with the trauma of what they experienced on that dark day in December and the days that followed. Our nation has been inspired by their courage.'

Call Mark Zaretsky at 203-789-5722.