GPD Receives 2 Million Dollar Grant for Community-Based Violence Intervention and Prevention
GREENSBORO, NC (November 4, 2022) – The Greensboro Police Department has received the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs Community-Based Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative (CVIPI) Grant. The grant will allocate 2 million dollars over three years to provide a multi-faceted approach to address drivers of violent crime in our community. The Greensboro Police Department was one of six entities nationwide to be awarded this funding. “The stars have truly aligned for a comprehensive and community-based approach to violent crime in our community, this is an extremely exciting opportunity for the City of Greensboro,” said Interim Chief Teresa Biffle.
The funds will expand efforts by the Community Connectors and existing partners, as well as introduce new components for a community-based crime prevention strategy. Regina Glaspie, of the Community Connectors, explained, “We have learned crime is a symptom, and in order to affect crime, you have to address what truly contributes to the problem- a lack of resources for communities. Doing this work for 18 months, we have learned where gaps in resources exist, and we have brought specific resources into those communities”.
This initiative will utilize a collaborative approach with law enforcement, community connectors, community stakeholders, local researchers, residents, health professionals, trauma workers, and caseworkers. Researchers from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro will ensure a data-informed implementation and evaluation of outcomes based on the following principles:
- Targeted violence interventions and support for the highest need groups
- Community-centered and equity-focused community engagement to address systemic issues
- Integration of public safety and public health workers for trauma-based interventions
- Strategic, data-driven, and performance-focused research
RTI International, an independent nonprofit institute based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, also received funding to conduct research on the initiative and its achievements. Dr. James Trudeau, who will lead RTI’s research project, said “We’re very excited about this opportunity to work closely with the Greensboro PD and its local research team and community partners to learn about how this important initiative is implemented in Greensboro and helps to reduce violence and build strong communities.”
Dr. Karen Jackson with N.C. A&T State University explained, “Planning will define the measures of success, and these measures will be defined with the help of the community. We want to know what the community believes is helpful to them, and we are excited about elevating their voices and stories”. Evaluation of the grant will produce valid data, making Greensboro a model that can be duplicated in other cities. Latisha McNeil, Office of Community Safety, stated the grant is a “proactive approach and one that adds the critical infrastructure of violence intervention, as well as prevention. Safety is a community responsibility”.
On Friday, November 4, 2022 the Greensboro Police Department held a panel interview to share the goals of the grant with the community. The panel included representatives from the Greensboro Police Department, the City of Greensboro’s Office of Community Safety, Greensboro Community Connectors, and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. “The North Carolina Network for Safe Communities at UNC Greensboro is honored to be a partner in this important work. For over two decades, UNCG has collaborated with law enforcement and communities to translate research into practice to keep our communities safe and thriving”, said John Weil, Director of North Carolina Network for Safe Communities at UNCG.
The grant will work to reduce and prevent violence, focusing on individuals at highest risk of violence perpetration or victimization, and will engage neighborhoods experiencing high levels of violence. The project will continue building community relationships and trust with law enforcement, leading to stronger and safer communities. Jenny Caviness, Director of the Office of Community Engagement, shared “We cannot say enough positive things about the work our officers do every day in this community. Our communities are asking for more resources and this will create additional opportunities to connect with officers- this is truly a great accomplishment for our City”.