Over $1.2 Million Awarded to Maryland Jurisdictions For Anti-gang Programs
BALTIMORE, Maryland - The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced awards of more than $1.2 million to local jurisdictions and organizations in Maryland to combat gangs and gang violence in local neighborhoods, communities and schools, announced U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. The more than $1.2 million in grants are made possible through federal funding Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) secured as Chairwoman of the Senate Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee to address Maryland’s gang issue. Programs throughout the state will receive funding for prevention, intervention and suppression strategies in a continuation of a program first established in 2006.
U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said, “Recent racketeering prosecutions involving MS-13 and the Bloods demonstrate that Maryland’s law enforcement agencies are making great progress in prosecuting violent gangs, but law enforcement alone cannot prevent gang violence. Coordinated and comprehensive strategies are essential to deter gang violence. Intervention and prevention programs help rescue teenagers who have joined gangs and prevent others from joining in the future.”
“This statewide anti-gang initiative addresses a gang crisis in our neighborhoods that threatens to destroy lives and destroy communities," said Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md). "No one can do it alone, that's why I fought in the Senate to create a federal partnership. We need to continue our work to protect neighborhoods and families – that means safer streets and safer communities. I am proud to have fought for this federal investment and will continue to do all I can to make our communities safer."
A three-part plan was used to distribute the anti-gang money: a portion will be distributed through a competitive process based on a collaborative strategy developed by each jurisdiction; a portion is to be awarded on a discretionary basis to support existing prevention and intervention programs and statewide efforts; and the remaining funding will be used for law enforcement functions, including hiring gang prosecutors and providing witness protection, translation services and training. The U.S. Attorney’s Office held regional informational sessions around the state to provide guidance about how best to put together an effective proposal.
The Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) previously provided planning grants to each jurisdiction in Maryland to assess the local gang problem and develop a strategy to deal with it. Officials continue to rely upon those strategies, and many of the funding proposals will use the grants to continue implementing them.
Thirty entities from 17 Maryland jurisdictions submitted applications detailing their collaborative strategies to deal with local gang problems. A panel of subject matter experts from the Johns Hopkins Police Executive Leadership Program, the Maryland Sheriff’s Association, the Maryland State Police, GOCCP, Hawkins Funding Development Group; Maryland Community Crime Prevention Institute; Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA); community anti-crime programs; and the U.S. Attorney’s Office evaluated and rated each proposal. At a meeting held on November 12, 2008, all panel members discussed the strategy, budget and objectives of each proposal, and rated the proposals. As a result, eleven grants were announced today.
Representatives of the grant recipients attended a meeting this morning to discuss their plans.
For additional information on the strategies, please see the attached synopses.
The maximum length of time of the programs funded by the awards in both categories is 18 months, beginning in January, 2009.
The awards announced today are only one source of funding for anti-gang strategies. Other federal and state sources are also available. Coordinating the various sources of funding provides the most advantageous use of all available funds.
Maryland Anti-Gang Comprehensive Strategy Grant Awards
Baltimore City Police Department $149,966.00
Award funds two (2) outreach workers hired through the Living Classrooms Foundation and assigned to the Eastern and Western Districts to assist at risk youth and families in accessing community-based services targeting gang prevention solutions. Equipment is specific to the police department’s suppression strategies. Overtime for enforcement efforts is also included in the funding.
Harford County Government $148,278.00
Provides overtime funds for deputies to conduct GREAT training programs, handle enhanced enforcement/suppression initiatives as well as investigations relating to gang activities. In addition, funds are earmarked to assist in the implementation of a Youth Division Explorer Program, educational materials, program transportation and supplemental assistance for an Assistant State’s Attorney assigned to handle gang prosecutions.
Montgomery County Government $128,000.00
Provides funding for specialized gang investigation training, prevention and suppression programs, enhanced capabilities for the Gang Prosecution unit within the State’s Attorney’s Office, as well as intervention services through the Montgomery County Health and Human Services office.
Baltimore Housing Authority $142,400.00
Award provides funding for two additional Youth Advocates and support assistance as key components of a larger city strategy targeting students within a specific area in Central West Baltimore.
Wicomico Partnership for Families and Children $129,663.00
Award will provide funding to partially assist in covering the services of a program coordinator, and to implement a specialized Intervention Program within the Wicomico/Salisbury area. The program will consist of job readiness training, job placement, street outreach, educational assessments and support to attain certificates and degrees as well as leadership development, counseling and case management.
Cumberland Police Department $67,500.00
Provides assistance with ongoing enforcement/suppression initiatives as well as establishing training and outreach programs targeting the at risk community, in particular the female associates of known gang members/associates.
Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office $89,400.00
Provides funds for suppression/enforcement efforts for the Sheriff’s Office and the Salisbury Police department; enhanced gang training for the same agencies as well as the State’s Attorney’s Office. In addition, funds will permit the contractual hiring of a consultant to provide intelligence support for both agencies as well as the establishment of a graffiti removal program and a gang hotline.
State of Maryland – Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services $98,513.00
Enables the hiring of a contractual employee working within the Maryland Community Crime Prevention Institute, whose responsibility will be to develop a model gang-related training program for community leaders and citizens. In addition, the specialist will conduct training-for-trainers to facilitate enhanced community-based training by law enforcement agencies throughout the State of Maryland.
Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office $146,386.00
Funding provides for the hiring of an analysts and an investigator to coordinate with law enforcement regarding gang related investigations and prosecutions. Also provides funds for the purchase of GIS mapping software, computer equipment and enhanced training in intelligence gathering and crime analysis.
Maryland Anti-Gang Discretionary Grant Awards
Frederick Police Department $82,347.00
The award provides funds for a specialized camera system targeting neighborhoods that become the focus of gang-related activity, as well as enhanced lighting to assist in prevention/detection efforts. In addition, overtime funds will be made available for agency personnel to facilitate the expansion of GREAT programs in the elementary and middle schools as well as family initiatives and summer camps.
Washington County Sheriff’s Office $72,461.00
Funding provides for the hiring of a full-time crime analyst to assist in ongoing gang initiatives throughout Washington County.