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Mass. PD receives nearly $740K in grant funding to tackle gang, youth violence

The funding enables the department to engage in social intervention via youth police academy programs and proactive patrols in “hot spots”


The Lowell Police Department received grant funding from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to go toward youth violence prevention and anti-gang programs.

Photo/Facebook via Lowell PD (Mass.)

By Cameron Morsberger
The Sun

LOWELL, Mass. — For the 17th year, the Lowell Police Department received grant funding from the state Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, which will go toward youth violence prevention and anti-gang programs.

With the $739,150 in total funding, which comes through the Massachusetts Shannon Community Safety Initiative, the department aims to invest in “proactive neighborhood patrols” in places deemed “hot spots” for youth and gang violence, according to a press release. The money will also fund overtime for officers involved in youth outreach, city youth-oriented community groups and the police’s established and “comprehensive” strategy to prevent such violence, the press release states.

Acting Police Superintendent Barry Golner said the grant support over nearly two decades has been “transformational.”

“This funding has enabled Lowell Police to become a leader in youth interaction and social intervention via programs like our Youth Police Academy and Lowell Police Youth Services, while also focusing proactive patrols in youth and gang violence hot spots utilizing data provided by the crime analysts in a multi-pronged approach to battling gangs and youth violence in our community,” Golner stated. “We are extremely grateful to the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security for the continued, effective and vital support.”

Lowell Police Youth Services will also be supported by the funding. The initiative also supports overtime for school resource officers, proactive patrols working on gang activity and other matters, and those covering Lowell Police Youth Services events, as well as portions of two crime analyst positions, one research analyst and one program manager, and more.

A number of other Lowell-based organizations will also received Shannon Grant funding. In Lowell Public Schools, the funds will benefit a tutoring program. At UTEC — an organization that aims to support youth touched by violence, the criminal justice system and poverty — grant funding will be used for its HiSET Program and Drop-in Enrichment Program to assist 95 young people. And at the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association, its Rising Stars summer program can fund about 100 children and young adults, who can strengthen their leadership skills.

The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell, MassHire, Lowell Community Health Center Teen BLOCK, the Lowell Recreation Department and the YMCA also all benefit from Shannon Grant funding.

The Massachusetts Shannon Community Safety Initiative has existed since 2006, when the state Legislature began appropriating funds aimed to address gang violence in Massachusetts.


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