A major part of the half billion dollar settlement with Google is headed for Rhode Island. Local police and state agencies are splitting the cash, some of them are getting six times their yearly budgets.
The North Providence Police Department has a six million dollar yearly budget. East Providence's is 12-million dollars. This settlement with Google will give each 60-million dollars extra dollars to spend on training, equipment, and possibly more officers.
Rhode Island is getting 230-million dollars from Google. It's the result of a settlement with the search giant and a two and a half year investigation by the U.S. Attorney and five local agencies.
"It was not primarily about the money initially," said East Providence Police Chief Joseph Tavares, "It was about bringing justice to a wrongdoing."
East Providence Police Chief Joseph Tavares devoted two detectives to the investigation, which looked into Google for accepting advertising from Canadian pharmacies that sold drugs to consumers in the U.S. illegally.
"It was hard, but it brought back some dividends," said Tavares. His police department is getting 60-million dollars from the settlement he can now spend on much needed training, equipment, and drug education programs.
He said his usual 12 million dollar a year budget can't afford that. Neither can the six million dollar budget in North Providence. "This is naturally an extraordinary amount of money, but as I said good decisions, educated decisions will be made to better the police department and the citizens of North Providence," said North Providence Police Chief Paul Martellini.
North Providence is also getting 60-million dollars from the settlement, so is the Rhode Island Attorney General's office. State police are being awarded 45-million dollars and the National Guard, five million. The rest will go to federal law enforcement agencies.
The money won't all be awarded at once. Police departments and state agencies have to put together plans first and The Justice Department will have to okay them.