Stimulus money to help DA's office

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Stimulus money will pay for a full-time interpreter in the Gwinnett prosecutor's office, kiosks to assist victims and other equipment.

Commissioners signed off last week on the $430,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds awarded to the local district attorney, solicitor's office and more.

According to Stan Hall, the head of the DA's victim-witness program, the federal funds will help law enforcement agencies throughout Gwinnett.

The funds also provide equipment to Snellville, Suwanee and Lilburn police departments, the court system for drug court expenses and equipment for law enforcement at Georgia Gwinnett College and Gwinnett Technical College.

Hall said the Spanish interpreter will be a "great assistance" to helping prosecute crimes involving Hispanic victims, and the money will also supplement services that have floundered without enough volunteers.

In the past, he said, the department had volunteers at local police precincts to help when crime victims or witnesses walked in to try to get information about a case. The stimulus funds will put the information at people's fingertips with kiosks at the county courthouse and Gwinnett Police headquarters in Lawrenceville. Later, he said, officials hope to expand them to more areas.