Massachusetts law enforcement officials and political leaders told a public safety meeting that state antigang grants are helping their communities combat violence and more funding is needed, the Boston Globe reports. More than 100 police chiefs, district attorneys, legislators, and other officials gathered yesterday to discuss the benefits of the Senator Charles E. Shannon Jr. Community Safety Initiative, $11 million in anti gang grants that support regional approaches to addressing youth violence.
Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone said his city’s grant has had big results, with more students enrolled in extracurricular activities and fewer teen suicides, drug overdoses, and youths joining gangs. “Thanks to this initiative our officers have gotten a chance to meet and patrol together weekly,” Curtatone said. “We share information to officially address problem areas before incidents occur.” Said Boston Mayor Thomas Menino: “It’s not just going to be about 1,000 more police; it has to be intervention, and prevention, and enforcement.”