The Glendening administration is funneling $3.6 million in crime-fighting grants to Baltimore, including $100,000 to develop a plan to reduce youth gun violence and scores of smaller awards to community groups to erect fences, improve lighting and pay for after-school programs.
Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend described the grants, which will help underwrite new programs and fund existing ones, as an extension of the administration's anti-gun initiative, unveiled earlier this week. On Wednesday, the Glendening administration said it will target illegal-gun trafficking, create a state "gun czar" and put more effort into battling criminals in crime "Hot Spots."
Townsend, who announced the 130 separate grants yesterday during a community cleanup of a park in Park Heights in West Baltimore, said a "broad, coordinated strategy" was needed to fight crime.
A bevy of state and city officials and community residents, including dozens of children, attended yesterday's announcement at the Nguzo Saba Community Garden.
The $3.6 million comes from a mix of federal and state funds, and is channeled through the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention.
The $100,000 grant to develop a plan to curtail juvenile gun violence will go to Safe and Sound, a fledgling nonprofit program to make the city safer and healthier for children.
The plan will be developed by a task force of law enforcement groups and community leaders with the assistance of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
The Kennedy School helped develop a similar plan for Boston, where no juvenile gun murders occurred during two recent years.
The $100,000 Safe and Sound grant is one of several large awards announced yesterday.
Among the others are:
$180,578 to fund a new program to provide intensive intervention to children under age 12 who are referred to the Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice.
$286,000 to pay for a youth tribunal and "community conferencing" programs in three communities, in which juvenile offenders who commit minor crimes are meted out justice by peers and neighbors.
Pub Date: 7/10/98