Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $135,586)
Violent crime, often associated with gun and gang violence, is a pressing issue throughout the Northern District of Indiana. The Northern District of Indiana is divided into four core areas: Fort Wayne, our largest city; South Bend; Lafayette; and Northwest Indiana, which includes Gary, Hammond, and East Chicago along with other municipalities. Project Safe Neighborhoods funds would assist in addressing surging gun violence problems as well as associated problems with organized and unorganized gang activity in Lake and Tippecanoe Counties and the City of South Bend. At least 30% of the award will be allocated to address gang activity in the assigned focus areas. These funds would also assist in community support and outreach. In the described areas, gang activity is often intertwined with gun violence and drug trafficking.
Funding for all three locations would enhance local law enforcement’s ability to face its challenges by providing increased personnel and equipment, needed specialized training in the area of interdiction and combatting violent crime and gang activity, and tools necessary for effective community outreach in order to engage the citizens of the affected neighborhoods. In speaking with community members, like the rest of the country, law enforcement and community relationships may be strained in our focus areas. Priority will be given to agencies that can work with community groups to foster the gap between law enforcement and the community through innovative engagement programs.