Justice Department Grant Awarded to Continue Anti-Violence Efforts in Seattle
Funding Targets Federal-Local Partnership To Reduce Gun-Related Crimes In East And South Seattle
An innovative partnership led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office was awarded nearly $500,000 from the Department of Justice to continue efforts to combat gun violence in Seattle, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. The two-year Project Safe Neighborhoods grant will support a comprehensive strategy to reduce gun crimes, work with at-risk youth, bolster re-entry efforts, and improve data gathering in the East and Southeast police precincts. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will lead a partnership of the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Seattle Police Department (SPD), Seattle Neighborhood Group, South Seattle Community College, Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, and research partner Michelle Maike.
“We must join together and use all tools to reduce gun violence in neighborhoods that have experienced far too much of it,” said U.S. Attorney Durkan. “That means supporting prevention efforts for at-risk youth, giving those re-entering our neighborhoods skills and support, and continuing our emphasis on prosecuting gun-related crimes. We are moving forward with proven community strategies, critical law enforcement support and extensive data gathering to keep our communities safe.”
The grant funding announced today will continue to fund a Senior Deputy King County Prosecutor to act as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, reviewing and prosecuting firearms-related cases. The grant also provides $90,000 for four youth prevention and intervention programs developed by Seattle Neighborhood Group. The programs include a chess club run by SPD Detective Denise “Cookie” Bouldin, a youth-run record label, an urban writing project for teens, and a boxing program developed by a former gang member. The grant also provides $90,000 to South Seattle Community College to provide life skills training, workforce development and other education programs to ex-offenders returning to the target neighborhoods.
Additional funding is aimed at gathering data on the programs and evaluating which strategies are working. SPD will receive $20,000 for its crime analysis unit to purchase new equipment and gather data for the program. An experienced researcher, Michelle Maike, will receive $100,000 to analyze the data and help develop new strategies to combat gun violence. Additionally, $30,000 is targeted towards raising public awareness of the anti-crime efforts in impacted neighborhoods. The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs will help administer the grant.