The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office has received almost $355,000 in grant money to combat hate crimes in Flagler County.
The FCSO was the recipient of the 2023 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Program Federal Grant, through the Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance. Since Sheriff Rick Staly took office in 2017, there have only been four reported hate crime cases in Flagler County, according to a press release from FCSO.
The grant funds are awarded to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to enhance victim reporting tools and fund the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes, the press release said. The FCSO will use the grant to expand its existing Targeted Violence Prevention Program over a four-year period.
Since fiscal year 2020-2021, FCSO has received over $3.7 million in grants to enhance and improve services in the community and inmates in the jail, Staly said.
“Flagler County was the last county in Florida to desegregate its schools. Today, there is no room for hate in our community,” Staly said. "With this grant, we will be even more equipped to effectively monitor and prevent hate crimes to protect everyone in Flagler County."