Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $482,000)
As a continuing effort to improve law enforcement response to victims of crime and initiate new ways to reduce crime within the City of Saginaw, the Saginaw Police Department is applying for the Byrne Discretionary Community Project Program. The proposed project will focus on crime reduction through community engagement efforts that include an emphasis on community-based violence intervention programming, the employment of law enforcement-based victim advocate, increased SPD personnel community outreach and engagement and a therapy K9 program.
Awarded funding would be used to create three positions within the community-based violence intervention program, employee funding would be diverted to subrecipient, Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital. The projected outcome for this goal is to have two case managers focus on violence intervention at the community level, prevention and program development and one director/violence interventionist to oversee the entire program. In 2015 the Saginaw Police Department established a Victim Services Unit, employing one victim services unit coordinator. Proposed funding would be used to employee one full-time victim advocate, contracted through a social services agency. The subrecipient for this goal is Child Abuse and Neglect Council. The victim advocate will provide violent and property crime victims with direct case management, safety planning, advocacy and agency referral services, amongst many other provisions. The expected target outcome for victim advocate is to provide services for 50 to 75 victims each month. As a third goal, Saginaw Police Department personnel will focus on enhancing current community outreach and engagement efforts as a means to increase community trust, transparency and relationship building. The intended outcome for this objective is to increase attendance and participation at community events, provide more community engagement opportunities and change the negative perception some may have of law enforcement. The final goal proposed with funding is to develop and implement an internal therapy K9 program. Several objectives and activities will take place within this goal, beginning with the selection and purchasing of a K9. The intended outcome is for the program and K9 to provide therapy K9 services to SPD personnel and while at community events.
Accomplishing these four targeted goals would promote the proactive approaches the police department is enthusiastically wanting to take in order to reduce crime in the city of Saginaw. It will also illustrate the drive to develop innovative approaches to providing essential services to an underserved population.