Today, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse joined Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin, and other leading state and local law enforcement officials to announce $150,000 in federal funding that is being awarded to the City of Providence from the Project Safe Neighborhoods Program to help reduce gun and gang violence.
The federal grant will support an innovative partnership led by the Providence Police Department (PPD) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the “Street Workers” from the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence, the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office, the Rhode Island State Police, and the Roger Williams University School of Justice Studies that will enhance the PPD’s ability to focus on violent gang and gun crime reduction initiatives. Funding will be used to increase targeted enforcement patrols and identify “impact players” that are driving violence in high-crime neighborhoods. A portion of the funding will also be aimed at gathering and analyzing data on anti-crime and violence programs, and evaluating strategies and best practices.
Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Justice to reduce gun crime by networking existing local programs that target gun violence, and providing those programs with the additional tools necessary to be successful. This year, Providence was one of 16 communities across the country to receive Project Safe Neighborhoods funds.
“Our outstanding police officers, law enforcement officials, and prosecutors are on the frontlines every day trying to make our community safer. This Project Safe Neighborhoods grant is designed to provide them some additional backup. We can always do more to combat gun violence, but this strategic approach to targeting gun crime and gang activity by linking together local, state, and federal law enforcement officials, resources, and community partners is a welcome step,” said Senator Reed.
“We must work together at the state, local, and federal levels to ensure that our cities and neighborhoods are safe for Rhode Island families. I’m pleased to announce this $150,000 federal grant, which will help the Rhode Island Department of Public Safety and its partners reduce gun and gang violence in Providence, and will help protect the safety of Providence residents,” said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.
“This Project Safe Neighborhoods grant will enhance the Providence Police Department’s community policing efforts and its strong partnership with Providence’s esteemed Nonviolence Institute,” said Mayor Taveras. “I thank Senators Reed and Whitehouse for securing this federal grant and for their tireless efforts on behalf of Providence, and I commend the Providence police and our partners in law enforcement for their ongoing efforts to serve and protect neighborhoods across our city.”
“New initiatives, such as this, to identify gang and gang members that engage in violence in our communities will help to prevent the violence before it occurs,” said Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin. “My office will continue to work closely with our law enforcement and community partners on these efforts to end the gang violence.”
“From an operational standpoint, we appreciate the efforts of our leaders in Washington for their support during these difficult economic times. The awarding of this grant is proof that our federal leaders are committed to providing the necessary resources to keep our communities safe and secure,” said Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.