The announcement this week by Governor Charlie Baker and Lieut. Gov. Karyn Polito of the release of $335,735 (out of a total of $5.7 million to cities and towns across the state) in competitive grants to Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Quincy, Revere, Somerville and Winthrop for use in targeting gang violence comes as welcome news for our communities.
These grants will provide funding to to combat high levels of youth violence and gang activity through comprehensive plans to work with multi-disciplinary partners and a commitment to coordinated prevention and intervention strategies. Those strategies include social interventions, opportunity programs, time and personnel for gang task forces, and more.
The beauty of these grants, in our opinion, is that they do not look upon gang membership solely as a criminal issue, but rather view it as a comprehensive problem that has roots in many other aspects of our communities that need to be addressed in areas beyond the police and criminal justice system.
We welcome these grants in our communities and we trust that those who are entrusted with spending these funds will do wisely and efficiently to maximize every dollar that they have received.
We also thank Gov. Baker and Lieut. Gov. Polito both for recognizing the general importance of specialized grants such as these to local communities and for their acknowledgment in particular that addressing the problem of gang membership is a pressing need in many of our cities and towns.