May 22, 2015

Saginaw receives $500,000 in federal funding to reduce crime

Saginaw Partners, including members of city and state law enforcement, health and human service agency representatives, Saginaw Future representatives, community members, Saginaw Valley State University researchers and Saginaw Community Foundation representatives, will gather to announce receipt of a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)-funded Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) grant. A press conference will be held on Friday, May 22, 2015 at 11 A.M. at Saginaw Community Foundation, 1 Tuscola St. (in the building atrium), Saginaw, Mich., 48607. Barbara McQuade, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan will be present to provide opening comments. Media is advised to attend.


Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a federally funded program that furthers the Department of Justice’s mission and violent crime reduction strategy by providing support to state, local and tribal efforts to reduce gun and gang-related crime. PSN is designed to create safer neighborhoods through a sustained reduction in crime associated with gang and gun violence. The program’s effectiveness is based on the cooperation of local, state and federal agencies engaged in a unified approach led by the U.S. Attorney in each district. 


“Many partners were brought together by the Saginaw Police Department and Michigan State Police to write the grant proposal targeted at the City of Saginaw. We identified Saginaw Community Foundation to be the fiscal agent for the project and we enlisted Saginaw Valley State University researchers in order to meet the requirement of including a local research partner to work with the PSN task force to analyze the local crime problem and help develop a proactive plan for gun crime and/or gang violence reduction,” stated Lt. David Kendziorski, Saginaw Police Department. 


“In addition to law enforcement directly addressing criminal activity through normal law enforcement tactics, it was important to partner with other community agencies who could assist with addressing some of the root causes of criminal activity in the City of Saginaw, such as poverty, truancy, chronic unemployment, breakdown in the family unit and drug abuse. Therefore, a partnership was established with the Child Abuse and Neglect Council Great Lakes Bay Region, who will provide a variety of parent support programs; Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), who will continue to provide the Pathways to Potential program in Saginaw Public Schools to address truancy and other family needs; and Community Ventures, who will assist individuals who are chronically unemployed,” said Lt. Kendziorski.


“We were so elated when the U.S. DOJ contacted us on September 9, 2014 to inform us that the City of Saginaw was one of 16 communities from across the country that had been awarded $500,000 over two years beginning in October 2014 and ending on September 30, 2016,” said Reneé Johnston, Saginaw Community Foundation president and CEO.


The PSN program is designed so that the U.S. Attorney in each district takes the lead in ensuring the program’s effectiveness, which is based on the cooperation of local, state and federal agencies engaged in a unified approach.


“The PSN program is designed to reduce violent gun crime through five core features, which the Saginaw grant application has effectively woven together: strategic planning, research, training, outreach and accountability,” said Barbara McQuade, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. “We believe that this grant will enable all of these partners to improve public safety in Saginaw.”