Indianapolis – Acting United States Attorney John E. Childress is pleased to announce that Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) federal grant dollars have been awarded to state and local government agencies for violent-crime reduction programs, which include community engagement, prevention and reentry efforts. PSN grants monies may be used for criminal justice-related initiatives, technical assistance, training, personnel, equipment, supplies, contracted support, information systems, research and evaluation.
“These funds will offer opportunities for community members and organizations to partner with state and local law enforcement and government agencies to help reduce gun-related violence,” said Childress. “We are grateful for the City of Lawrence, Lawrence Police Department, City of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the Indianapolis Marion County Forensic Services Agency, and the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, for their thoughtful and innovative efforts to help drive down the violence.”
LAUNDRY and MORE
The City of Lawrence and the Lawrence Police Department were awarded $27,000 for an initiative called Laundry and More. Along with their community partners, Servants of Christ Luther Church, they are serving the area around 42nd Street and Post Rd where the community has high crime but is also highly underserved. While the funding is directed at covering the cost of laundry services, it has also served as a mechanism to help law enforcement build relationships and start meaningful dialogue with citizens who typically are afraid to approach or even speak with an officer. Over 162 families have been served so far, with over 1,000 loads of laundry completed at no cost. People are also being connected with other resources in the area, such as jobs, food pantries, and civil servants.
“This initiative goes beyond getting laundry done for residents and their families,” said Lawrence Police Deputy Chief Curtis Bigsbee. “This project offers the opportunity for true community interaction with participants in a non-traditional environment for representatives from the City of Lawrence, the police department, and all of our community partners.” Deputy Chief Bigsbee concluded.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) was awarded $48,673 to help increase their level of participation with this public safety initiative. The RightFit programming allows officers to meet regularly with inner city youth participants and focus on building relationships. These relationships will allow children to see that police officers are people they can trust, and they can go to them if they are in trouble or knows someone who may need help.
The after-school program encourages academic growth, fun physical activity, and a nutritious meal, which is all provided in an environment of courtesy and respect. The goal is to stabilize communities, enhance academic participation and achievement, improve the health of students, identify education and career options, and create an atmosphere of cooperation across the community.
“Combating crime in Indianapolis is a team effort—it takes partners at the federal, state, and local level to increase public safety and reduce gun violence,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. “Through enhanced coordination, we can effectively invest in and transform neighborhoods across our city. The programs funded by Project Safe Neighborhoods are strong examples of how collaboration can lead to better outcomes for residents.”
“Community partnerships are key to impacting violence in our neighborhoods, and the IMPD is grateful for this opportunity to build relationships with our city’s youth that break down barriers of mistrust and lead to a safer Indianapolis,” said IMPD Chief Randal Taylor. “Thank you to Acting U.S. Attorney Childress for this impactful funding, and to RightFit for their partnership.”
The following agencies were also awarded federal PSN grant money:
- City of Indianapolis - $30,500 for Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design training program.
- Indiana Law Enforcement Academy - $8,473 for their Community Outreach Initiative.
- Indianapolis-Marion County Forensic Services - $93,378 for their Gun Crime Reduction Initiative.
- Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department - $188,394 for a PSN data enhancement program.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Pamela Domash in coordination with Marshall Depew of IMPD lead the PSN Task Force effort in the Southern District of Indiana.