The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recently awarded more than $520,000 in Railroad Trespassing Enforcement Grants to law enforcement agencies in several states.
The $528,028 in funds go to 11 support life-saving trespass abatement projects 11 projects in six states: California, Florida, Massachusetts, Montana, North Carolina and New Jersey. The agency received a total of 23 eligible applications for the grant program.
“This money will help local law enforcement agencies deter people from taking unnecessary risks around railroad tracks, while continuing the focus on those specific populations that are known to subject themselves to such risks around railroad tracks,” FRA Administrator Ronald L. Batory said in a news release.
FRA officials said the agency focused on trespass hot spots — geographic areas where law enforcement agencies have witnessed high instances of the behavior. They also said the action exemplifies priorities outlined in FRA’s National Strategy to Prevent Trespassing on Railroad Property, which the agency issued in 2018.
Between 2014 and 2018, FRA research confirmed 4,721 trespass incidents resulting in 2,412 deaths in the United States.
In making these grant selections, FRA gave preference to 10 states with the highest numbers of trespass-related incidents. The agency then considered geographic diversity and applicants using innovative approaches to saving lives.
“Local law enforcement officers know these areas and the residents’ needs, so we’re investing to help them serve their communities,” Batory said. “This work and resulting information will help us save even more lives.”
Agencies awarded grants are:
- Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board Reducing Trespassing on Caltrain Right-of-Way — Up to $48,500
- San Bernardino Police Department Operation Safe Rails — Up to $80,000
- Southern California Regional Rail Authority Metrolink Trespasser Reduction Task Force — Up to $50,008
- Broward Sheriff’s Office Railroad Trespassing Enforcement Grant — Up to $80,000
- City of Jacksonville Railroad Trespassing Education and Enforcement Project — Up to $20,100
- Hollywood Police Department Trespassing Pilot Grant Program Operation Fast Track — Up to $50,000
- Tampa Police Department Trespassing Prevention Program — Up to $41,920
- City of Fitchburg Railroad Trespassing Enforcement Program — Up to $7,500
- Billings Police Department Railroad Trespassing Enforcement Grant — Up to $50,000
- Greensboro Police Department Railway Trespass Initiative — Up to $40,000
- New Jersey Transit Police Department FY19 Railroad Trespassing Enforcement Grant — Up to $60,000