Any of the 60 children who successfully complete a youth/police training component of a city-sponsored mentoring program in Hartford will be paid $100 as part of a $500,000 federal grant recently awarded to the city as an anti-gang initiative, the Hartford Courant reports. Each mentor will get access to $350 to pay for things like movies, museum visits. and sporting events for the children.
The three-year grant is directed at 100 children a year aged 10 to 15 each year and was awarded by the U.S. Justice Department. The grant made news earlier this month because it was supported by an internal police memorandum that said the city suffered from a “gang infestation,” with more than 4,000 members in about 130 gangs. The problem, the police memo said, was especially acute at the city’s middle schools. City and school officials subsequently downplayed the contents of the memo. Police Chief Daryl Roberts said the numbers were more than a year old and shouldn’t have been used. School Superintendent Steven Adamowski said the schools didn’t have a gang problem.