Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $192,976)
The Western District of Michigan will use the PSN grant funding for fiscal year 2022-23 to support local partner law enforcement agencies to prevent and deter violent crime, particularly group violence, through community-driven practices. PSN grant funds will be concentrated in six cities in the Western District: Battle Creek; Benton Harbor; Grand Rapids; Kalamazoo; Lansing; and Muskegon/Muskegon Heights.
According to 2019 FBI statistics, Michigan has a violent crime rate of 437.4 per 100,000, which is 1.15 times the national average.
The six PSN focus communities suffer from the highest rates of violent crime in the Western District of Michigan. For example, Muskegon Heights has a violent crime rate of 2,238.8 per 100,000, which is almost six times the national average. FBI data also indicates that the men between the ages of 20 and 29 are most likely to be both the perpetrators and victims of violence in each of the six PSN focus communities. The drivers of crime in these communities are a complex myriad of economic, social, and criminal justice factors. At the same time, gang or group violence, the proliferation of firearms, and illegal drug trafficking remain key challenges for law enforcement. With the support of PSN, local and federal law enforcement have implemented data-driven models, concentrating on the individuals or groups driving much of the crime in geographic hot spots.
The PSN task force is comprised of law enforcement leaders and representatives from the prosecutors’ offices of the six target communities. The Battle Creek Community Foundation is the fiscal agent and Public Sector Consultants will conduct monitoring and evaluation. The PSN task force will fund projects that help foster trust between law enforcement and community, prevent and deter violent crime, and measure the results of the PSN-funded projects. To effectively disburse PSN grant funds to sub-grantees in the six target areas, the PSN task force will host a competitive sub-grant award process. Successful sub-grantees will propose programs that focus on: evidence-based intelligence; community-based violence intervention and prevention programs; educational and mentoring opportunities for those involved in violence or at risk of becoming involved in violence; targeted community outreach and group violence interruption; and crime prevention social programs and youth outreach. Sub-grants will be awarded in early part of the PSN 2022 grant period of performance, to ensure that sub-grantees have time to implement their projects and the impact of these sub-grants can be evaluated.