Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $644,469)
The Law Enforcement Planning Commission (LEPC) serves as the State Administrator for the United States Virgin Islands with three islands comprising of approximately 87,146 persons according to the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau. Our mission is to support programs, serve our community and make a difference by supporting programs in the areas of criminal justice, juvenile delinquency and victim services. As an advisory arm, current programs provide federal funding for youth delinquency prevention, victim prevention and intervention services and state/territory emergency funding. This application proposes to expand on the work of current services by addressing the following purpose areas: (1) Training for judiciary and court staff on Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) proceedings; (2) Outreach to community members, stakeholders, municipal leaders, law enforcement agencies, and those engaging with at-risk individuals to raise public awareness about the value of public safety benefits of ERPO laws and programs, and promote the importance of effective implementation of enforcement as well as program development enhancement; (3) Expanding the capacity of existing drug, mental health and veterans treatment courts to assist clients who are most likely to commit or become victims of crime; and (4) specialized training for individuals who serve or are families of individuals who are in crisis.
The goal of this project is to expand the capacity of existing agencies and organizations in their efforts to reduce risks for gun use and increase protective factors for the community. To accomplish this goal, LEPC will: (1) engage new and existing partners including but not limited to the State Advisory Group Board and the Office of Gun Violence Prevention to establish a crisis intervention advisory board to inform and guide the state’s related gun violence reduction programs/initiatives; (2) Identify, support and collaborate on technical assistance and training that enhance a community coordinated response to gun violence prevention; (3) Develop a media campaign in partnership with stakeholders to educate, engage and empower safer communities; and (4) to provide financial support through subawards for community programs creating and/or expanding crisis intervention programs.
The intended outcomes for this program include: (1) Improved coordinated response amongst stakeholders; (2) Increased access to training and resources that aid in gun violence prevention; and (3) Increased community engagement and/or response to public awareness campaigns.