West Michigan programs receive $150K in Project Safe Neighborhoods funding

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Some West Michigan communities are recipients of $152,430 in Project Safe Neighborhoods grant funds from the Department of Justice to support the reduction and prevention of violent crimes.

A committee of local prosecutors and law enforcement departments from Battle Creek, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Muskegon collectively worked with community members and nongovernmental organizations to focus on the reduction and prevention of violent crimes by supporting a combination of community-based violence prevention programs and law enforcement efforts in specific geographic areas in districts identified as the most at-risk through data collection and analysis.

Programs in Benton Harbor and Lansing also received funding.

The committee decided to allocate Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) grant funding to the following programs:

  • In Battle Creek, the money will be used to develop outreach workers to mentor at-risk youth in the community and to fund some of the victim advocate programming of the Battle Creek Police Department.
  • In Grand Rapids, the grant money will be used to support the development of a Violent Crime Intelligence Team (VCIT). The VCIT is a dedicated team of detectives, patrol officers and crime analysts that investigate gang activity and gun violence in the city.
  • In Kalamazoo, the money will continue to support the long-running and successful Group Violence Intervention (GVI) program. The GVI program supports police and community members, including ex-offenders, as they personally reach out to at-risk youth and group members to interrupt cycles of violence.
  • In Muskegon, the money will fund a project that helps at-risk youth obtain their drivers’ licenses. Lack of transportation is a major obstacle for many at-risk youth, which precludes them from attending school and obtaining or maintaining employment.
  • In Muskegon Heights, PSN funds will be used to fund a variety of community-based programming and outreach, including an after-school sports program, a park renovation project, the mentoring of at-risk youth by former convicts and community/police town hall meetings.

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