Haverhill, Methuen, Lawrence UTEC Share Shannon Grants to Combat Gang Violence

UTEC's Haverhill space at 241 Winter St. (WHAV News photograph)

Haverhill, Methuen and Lawrence are sharing in federal and state grants to address, prevent and respond to gang violence.

The Baker-Polito Administration said Monday Haverhill and Methuen will share $256,334 and Lawrence will receive $224,000 from the Sen. Charles E. Shannon Jr. Community Safety Initiative. In a virtual ceremony, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito joined Lowell state Sen. Ed Kennedy, Quincy Rep. Tackey Chan and representatives from UTEC, DOVE and the Lowell and Quincy Police Departments to announce the awards.

“We remain incredibly appreciative of the support received through the Shannon Grant Program that has truly helped us work in partnership to best reduce youth violence while increasing positive outcomes through activities ranging from outreach to education,” said Sako Long, youth coordinator for UTEC, an anti-violence service provider serving youth in Lowell, Lawrence, and Haverhill. “We are only as strong as the partners we work alongside, and this grant has allowed us to advance outcomes for young adults due to the partnerships at the city and state level.”

Separately, money was also awarded under the Violence Against Women Act. Gov. Charlie Baker said in a statement, “For victims and survivors affected by these crimes, especially women and young people, these grants will help to equip victim-support organizations, criminal justice agencies, and community-based partners to respond effectively and compassionately.”

Public Safety and Security Secretary Thomas Turco explained the “grants will assist criminal justice agencies, crisis counselors, community-based nonprofits and others who do the critical daily work of reducing violence in our communities.”

The Shannon CSI Grant Program supports combatting gang violence through coordinated prevention and intervention, law enforcement, prosecution and reintegration programs. Bringing academic and research centers together with municipalities to address the gang and youth violence in the community, grants pay for enforcement and meaningful alternatives to at-risk and gang-involved young people.

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