Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2012, $900,000)
The goal of the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation (BCJI) Program is to improve community safety by designing and implementing effective, comprehensive approaches to addressing crime within a targeted neighborhood as part of a broader strategy to advance neighborhood revitalization through cross-sector community-based partnerships. Research suggests that crime clustered in small areas, or "crime hot spots," accounts for a disproportionate amount of crime and disorder in many communities. In times of limited resources, local and tribal leaders need tools and information about crime trends in their jurisdiction and assistance in assessing, planning, and implementing the most effective use of criminal justice resources to address these issues. They also need a core foundation of resources and tools to support data-driven strategy development, community-driven capacity building for collaborative problem solving, and assistance to identify and implement evidence-based and innovative strategies to target these drivers of crime. A multi-faceted approach like the BCJI Program targets crime in the locations where most crime is occurring. This approach can have the biggest impact while also building the capacity of the community to deter future crime.
This new program is a part of the Administration's larger Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI) that supports local and tribal communities in developing place-based strategies to change neighborhoods of distress into neighborhoods of opportunity. Recognizing that interconnected solutions are needed in order to resolve the interconnected problems existing in distressed communities, the BCJI Program is designed to provide neighborhoods with coordinated federal support in the implementation of comprehensive place-based strategies to effectively reduce and prevent crime by connecting this support to broader comprehensive neighborhood revitalization efforts. The FY 2012 program will fund planning and implement grants, as well as enhancement grants.
The city of Lowell will utilize this grant to allow the Lowell Police Department to implement the Centralville Friends for Improvement, Revitalization, and Enforcement (C-FIRE) program. This program aims to address the neighborhood's serious crime hot spots and crime drivers, increase public safety, increase economic vitality, and improve the quality of life for all Centralville residents. Funds will be used to support law enforcement activities, community policing initiatives, extracurricular activities for at-risk Centralville youth, outreach services, and neighborhood revitalization events.