Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $1,000,000)
Applicant Name: City of Phoenix Housing Department; Project Title: City of Phoenix Housing Department FY21 Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program; Project Location: Phoenix, Arizona; Dollar Amount Requested: $1,000,000
The Edison-Eastlake Community (EEC) – located east of downtown Phoenix, bounded by I-10 to the north and east, Union Pacific railroad tracks to the south, and 16th Street to the west – is home to 3,339 residents in the 85006 and 85034 zip codes. The EEC is located within a designated Opportunity Zone.
The EEC contains the largest concentration of public housing in Arizona. High incidences of violent crime plague the neighborhood, and the need for greater safety is an ongoing concern raised by residents. An alarmingly high occurrence of domestic violence and sexual offenses are also present, and the sale and use of drugs are chronic problems. Phoenix Police Department (PPD) calls for overdoses, suicide attempts, and dead bodies are two to three times higher in the EEC than other Phoenix neighborhoods. The EEC has nine times more people with outstanding felony and misdemeanor warrants than the city, and community-police relations are strained. The EEC-BCJI grant will address serious and violent crimes, including weapons- related violence, drug issues, property crimes, sexual assault, and domestic violence.
In 2018, The City of Phoenix Housing Department (Housing) received a Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grant (Choice) to radically reshape the EEC. Public safety measures supported by the Choice program include adopting Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design principles; creating a Public Safety Liaison position; increasing resident leadership capacity; hosting public safety programs; and forming block watches. Early success has been realized, yet much more investment is needed to improve safety and address chronic crime concerns. EEC-BCJI will include a comprehensive community analysis in the planning phase using data to assess crime and safety, and will utilize findings to guide the development of strategies to address crime in the targeted hotspots.
Housing, with a to-be-hired full-time Project Coordinator to manage EEC-BCJI activities, Arizona State University’s Office of Community Health, Engagement, and Resiliency, and PPD will partner to achieve the following BCJI goals: (1) Analyze crime conditions to refine the EEC-BCJI Action Plan to ensure incorporation of evidence-based solutions; (2) Use trust-building efforts to improve relationships between the community and police; (3) Build capacity of community and cross-sector partners to identify, implement and monitor interventions; (4) Implement strategies that deter criminal activity including serious, violent, and chronic crime. In alignment with the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) efforts, EEC-BCJI will coordinate with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to prioritize federal prosecution for offenders using firearms in the commission of a violent crime.