Mike Parson

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Governor Mike Parson today announced the state of Missouri has approved more than $1.8 million in grant assistance to 19 agencies across the state to investigate and prosecute crimes that victimized children.

“Criminals who victimize children must be investigated, prosecuted, and brought to justice, no matter when they commit these heinous crimes,” Governor Parson said. “The rise in crimes reported against children during the COVID-19 pandemic and the strains on agencies that detect, investigate, and prosecute those criminals made it clear that local agencies could use additional assistance. We are pleased to make these funds available to help protect our children and remove criminals from the streets.”

“I have spent my time in the Missouri Legislature advocating and fighting for the children of our state. These grant awards mean over $1.8 million will be going to communities across our state to protect children, bring justice to victims, and ensure the investigation, prosecution, and punishment of criminals who prey on kids,” Senator Jeanie Riddle, R-Fulton, said. “The $300,000 grant that is going to Lincoln County will allow the Prosecutor’s Office to direct the funds to best meet the specific, local needs to help safeguard our children.”

The following organizations have been offered awards that will begin on October 1, 2021, for the Missouri Crimes Against Children/Sex Crimes COVID-19 Funding Opportunity, administered by the Missouri Department of Public Safety:

• Boone County Cyber Task Force, $45,240.55

• Butler County Prosecutor’s Office, $104,900.00

• Christian County Prosecutor’s Office, $215,286.03

• Christian County Sheriff’s Office, $66,585.13

• Clever Police Department, $22,020.00

• Houston Police Department, $11,204.00

• Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, $57,920.00

• Lincoln County Prosecutor’s Office, $300,000.00

• Missouri State Highway Patrol, $50,176.00

• New Madrid County Sheriff’s Office, $76,818.00

• Nixa Police Department, $74,700.00

• Nodaway County Sheriff’s Office, $191,905.00

• Platte County Prosecutor’s Office, $119,152.24

• Platte County Sheriff’s Office, $66,938.02

• Sikeston Department of Public Safety, $10,500.00

• Francois County Prosecutor and Sheriff’s Offices, $173,150.32

• St. Louis County Cyber Task Force, $114,684.84

• Vernon County Sheriff’s Office, $31,260.00

• Wright County Sheriff’s Office, $76,489.92

Nineteen agencies applied for the competitive Missouri Crimes Against Children/Sex Crimes COVID-19 Funding Opportunity and were approved to receive a total of $1,808,930.05. Eligible expenses include hiring additional investigators and prosecutors, training, and computer software and equipment utilized to investigate crimes against children.

On July 20, 2021, Governor Mike Parson announced Missouri state government was making available a total of up to $2 million in additional funding opportunities to better detect, investigate, and prosecute crimes committed against children during the pandemic.

Across the nation, agencies that assist and support children had reported vulnerable children were at greater risk of being victimized during the pandemic, when more people were isolated and there were fewer opportunities for potential crimes to be reported and investigated.