Massachusetts Provides Millions in Anti-Gang Grants

Massachusetts will award millions of dollars in grants to fight gang violence, Gov. Charlie Baker announced Tuesday.

Grants totaling $5.7 million were given to 15 Bay State communities, as well as to 11 research parties of the Shannon Community Safety Initiative.

"Shannon grants support critical programming that provide education, training and employment direction for young people at risk of becoming involved in youth violence or gang activity," Gov. Baker said in a statement. "Our partnership with cities and local organizations enables crucial outreach to vulnerable youth, diverting them away from gangs and towards positive and productive futures."

According to a release from the governor's office, the grants provide funding and comprehensive plans to fight violence in communities with gang problems.

"This funding enables my department to continue working with at risk youth and make a difference on the impact of gang violence in Boston," the police department's commissioner, William Evans, said. "I want to thank Governor Baker and Secretary [of Public Safety and Security Dan] Bennett for their continued support of the Shannon Grant Program and the work of the Boston Police Department."

Boston received the most grant money, more than $1.1 million. Springfield and Lowell, Massachusetts' respective third and fourth largest cities, each received more than $500,000. Worcester, the state's second largest city, was awarded nearly $495,000.

Other recipients included Brockton, Fall River, Lawrence, Lynn, New Bedford and Pittsfield. Several groups of cities and towns also received joint grants. Those include Fitchburg with Gardner, Haverhill with Methuen, Holyoke with Chicopee, Taunton with Attleboro, and the Metro Mayors Coalition, which includes Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Quincy, Revere, Somerville and Winthrop.

The research partners to receive funding include Clark University, Community Resources for Justice, Institute for Community Health, Kelley Research Associates, North Shore Community College, Roger Williams University, Salem State University UMass Amherst, UMass Boston and the locations of UMass Lowell in Lowell, Lawrence and Haverhill/Methuen.

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