Haverhill Police Receive $111,788 to Fight Gangs

Haverhill police on Merrimack Street (file photograph).

Rep. Brian S. Dempsey, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Rep. Brian S. Dempsey, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Haverhill has received an $111,788 grant from the state Executive Office of Public Safety to combat gang activity within the city.

The grant, under the Senator Charles E. Shannon Jr. Community Safety Initiative, comes from funding made available in the current fiscal year’s state budget, according to a joint statement from Reps. Brian S. Dempsey, House Ways and Means Committee chairman; Linda Dean Campbell; Diana Dizoglio; and Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives. Funding is “primarily used for gang task force personnel costs, crime analysis, and social intervention and opportunity provision programs.”

“This grant will ensure that our local police have the tools and resources to continue their efforts in combating the encroachment of gangs and addressing youth violence in Haverhill,” Dempsey said. “It is important that we maintain a well- equipped and trained police force that can continue to provide a safer community for all of Haverhill’s citizens.”

Shannon Community Safety Initiative grants are awarded to communities based on factors that include the crime rate of a city or a town, high levels of youth violence and gang problems, whether the community has a comprehensive plan to work with multi-disciplinary partners and “a commitment to coordinated prevention and intervention strategies.”

“Our efforts to combat gang violence and the opioid crisis in Haverhill and the Merrimack Valley starts with efforts to work with our youth,” Campbell said. “This grant funding provides a multifaceted approach to gang-violence prevention by targeting at-risk youth, and is critical for Haverhill.”

“This critical source of funding will further improve public safety by giving our community the resources to implement a comprehensive, multi-pronged approach to curb gang violence,” O’Connor Ives added.

“These funds from the Shannon Community Safety Initiative grant will immensely help the City of Haverhill in its efforts to address youth violence and increase public safety,” Dizoglio said.