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Monday, June 30, 2008

City to get funds to help curb violence

By Register Staff
The state’s larger municipalities will share $500,000 in federal and state grant money to fund programs aimed at reducing violence this summer.
"Sadly, rising temperatures too often bring rising tensions," Gov. M. Jodi Rell said.
"What should be an enjoyable period for families and friends — a time of relaxation and outdoor fun — becomes instead a time of fear and worry."
The grant, funded primarily through the Department of Justice, requires that at least a third of the money be used on prevention and intervention programs like summer job and youth recreation programs. The rest can be used on law enforcement overtime, efforts to get guns off the streets, community re-entry programs for former prison inmates or other initiatives, the governor’s office said.
How much New Haven will see remains to be seen, but city spokeswoman Jessica Mayorga said the city was considering using its share to continue funding for its Street Outreach Worker program, which attempts to engage troubled youths and mediate feuds.
Rell spokesman Rich Harris said the state hopes to disperse the money "as rapidly as possible because it is summertime."
The funding is called the Summer Urban Crime and Community Safety Grant Program.
And it’s not just open to the state’s largest cities, Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport.
"The plan right now is to allocate the money based on municipalities that have the highest violent crime rate per 1,000 residents," he said.
Cities including New London, Norwalk, Waterbury, East Harford, Stamford, Bristol and New Britain would be eligible for a piece of the funding, Harris said.

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