Nassau County has been awarded a $900,000 federal grant to boost police efforts against domestic violence, officials said Tuesday.

The U.S. Justice Department money will update the police department's special alarm system for domestic violence victims to quickly summon police and to train officers to access a database on chronic domestic violence offenders, said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer, both Democrats from New York.

The county had competed for the funds, which come from the Justice Department's Violence Against Women Program.

Both senators, who pressed federal officials to award a grant to Nassau, and County Executive Edward Mangano said the money will help keep victims safer and help convict those accused of domestic violence.

"These federal dollars will put the resources we need on the ground to effectively enhance safety of victims and hold offenders accountable," Gillibrand said in a statement.

The alarm system, known as CAPER or Criminal Apprehension Provided by Electronic Response, consists of a radio transmitter installed in the home, and a pendant equipped with an alarm button. It sends a signal directly to the Nassau County police communications center and officers are dispatched without the need to dial 911.

In February, it was used by an Franklin Square woman to help officers arrest an ex-boyfriend when he tried to get into her home, days after he allegedly abducted her, and punched and threatened her with a hammer, police had said.

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