WASHINGTON, Aug. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Office of Justice Programs' Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) awarded a $512,730 Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program (AEAP) grant to the Wisconsin Department of Justice to assist the victims of the mass shooting at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis.
On August 5, 2012, a gunman walked into the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., and began shooting as priests were gathering in the lobby, women were preparing a communal meal in the kitchen and worshipers were arriving for services. Six people were killed and six others wounded, including a police officer who was shot multiple times while aiding a victim. Those affected by the crime include the 24 other congregants hiding in the temple, victims' family members, witnesses, first responders and the larger Oak Creek community. The Wisconsin Department of Justice will use the grant funds toward expenses associated with mental health and trauma services, including specialized services for children, as well as crime victim compensation resources to assist the victims of this tragedy.
In 1995, following the Oklahoma City bombing, Congress authorized OVC to set aside and administer up to $50 million annually from the Crime Victims Fund for the Antiterrorism Emergency Reserve Fund to assist victims in extraordinary circumstances. Following an act of terrorism or mass violence, jurisdictions can apply for an AEAP grant award for crisis response, criminal justice support, crime victim compensation, and training and technical assistance expenses. OVC also has provided AEAP funds and assistance following the shootings in Aurora, Col. (2012); Tucson, Ariz. (2011); Binghamton, New York (2009); and at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) (2007).
This morning Attorney General Eric Holder announced, in a blog post commemorating the anniversary of the shooting, this grant and other steps the Justice Department is taking to help the victims of this and other hate crimes against Sikhs. For more information, please visit: http://blogs.justice.gov/main/archives/3233.
For more information on the AEAP program, please visit: www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/pdftxt/AEAP_Brochure.pdf.
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. OJP has six components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking. More information about OJP can be found at http://www.ojp.gov.
SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice - Office of Justice Programs