For Immediate Release
September 11, 2009
For More Information Contact:
Boston Receives Nearly $2 million in Federal Funding for Public Safety
Funding from two highly competitive grants will provide crucial support for police personnel and adds violence intervention and prevention staff
Today, Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced that the City of Boston received nearly $2 million in federal funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for two highly competitive grants presented to the Boston Police Department (BPD) and the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC).
Boston Police will use the approximately $1.29 million in Byrne Memorial Competitive Grant funding to increase the capacity and efficiency of sworn officers on the street to respond to and investigate crimes as well as maintain law enforcement critical functioning and reduce violent crime throughout the city. Additionally, a second Byrne grant was awarded to the Boston Public Health Commission of just over $600,000 to support the Commission's innovative Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) initiative that is designed to address violence across the city and in four of Boston's high-risk neighborhoods.
"The City of Boston continues to compete and win these highly competitive grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," said Mayor Menino. "This not only speaks to the high quality of work in our applications but to the innovative programs taking place throughout the city including the VIP and Boston Regional Intelligence Center that keep our streets safe. I want to thank Senator John Kerry, Congressman Stephen Lynch and Congressman Michael Capuano for their continued support in our efforts to stop crime."
The funding for the BPD will provide 10 positions inside the Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC) including three Real-Time Crime Center Intelligence analyst positions and two Social Network Analysis Intelligence positions. Developed in 2005, the cutting-edge BRIC leads the way in intelligence gathering and analysis that is fundamental in the BPD's data-driven strategy to reduce gang and gun violence in Boston. Intelligence provides officers with the ability to make more informed judgments and take the necessary actions to effectively counter the activities of crime organizations, individuals, terrorism, and conditions that promote criminal activity.
"This is a direct investment in Boston's finest," said Senator Kerry. "It will create jobs, enhance training and preparedness, reduce fraud, and speed crime scene investigations. The Boston Police Department deserves every resource available to keep our families and communities safe."
The BRIC gathers valuable information that helps police identify major impact players, to locate violent activity and provides officers with a lens to better understand the complex nature of gangs. The BRIC also supplies intelligence to improve our counter-terrorism capacity and identifies and monitors ex-offenders returning to our neighborhoods.
"This federal funding will help the City of Boston in its efforts to keep our neighborhoods safe by providing additional resources to police personnel and by expanding the Boston Public Health Commission's Violence Intervention and Prevention program," stated Congressman Capuano, who wrote a letter of support. "Our communities stand to benefit greatly from this infusion of stimulus funding, and I am proud that Boston is taking the steps necessary to further combat violent crime while increasing victims' services."
"With many cities and towns struggling right now, these grants will help sustain the courageous work provided by the Boston Police Department and the Boston Public Health Commission in keeping Boston's neighborhoods safe," Congressman Stephen F. Lynch said. "I commend Mayor Menino, Commissioner Davis, Dr. Ferrer and their entire departments for their hard work and commitment in securing these funds."
The $600,000 in funding from the second grant will help the Health Commission support its innovative VIP initiative by providing for:
- four full-time positions to coordinate collaboration and increase the outreach to high-risk youth;
- four neighborhood coalitions that include active participation by city service agencies, the BPD, residents and community-based organizations;
- outreach to 1,000 youth and enroll 500 youth from high-crime neighborhoods in afterschool, summer and employment programs;
- the development and implementation of a VIP sustainability plan including a comprehensive data collection and reporting system.
"We are honored and gratified to receive these Byrne grant funds," said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission. "This grant will allow BPHC to increase its outreach to victims of gun violence and strengthen the VIP initiative's capacity to support community-based violence prevention strategies in four Boston neighborhoods with elevated rates of community gun violence."