For Immediate Release—Thursday, September 27, 2001
Washington, D.C. -Attorney General John Ashcroft and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) today announced $3 million in grants to encourage police agencies to strengthen relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve. Under the Value Based Initiative (VBI), the COPS Office awarded a total of $3 million to Boston, Chicago, Fort Worth, Texas, Fort Wayne, Ind., Missouri Western State College, Kansas City, Mo., Riverside, Calif., Redlands, Calif., San Bernardino, Calf., Broward County, Fla., Aiken County, S.C., Richmond, Va., New Haven, Conn., Portland, Ore., St. Bernard Parish, La., and Washington, DC to strengthen community partnerships in high risk, targeted neighborhoods.
The VBI will help train communities to better use problem-solving to understand the causes of quality of life problems; build programs which develop specific, tailor-made responses to the problems; and assess the impact of those responses. It will provide training and technical assistance to facilitate collaborative partnerships, capacity building and problem solving skills for community leaders, law enforcement and residents. The VBI will also strive to minimize criminal activities in target areas and strengthen community partnerships.
"These grants help law enforcement agencies develop in-depth programs that engage the community as a full partner in the fight against crime." said COPS Director Carl R. Peed. "The Value Based Initiative helps facilitate the process by which leaders of the community become partners in the strategic planning and implementation of crime reduction and prevention. The program has proven to be effective, and it builds much needed partnerships between communities and the police that serve them."
Today's Value Based Initiative grants are a part of COPS' broader responsibility to provide national leadership regarding the advancement of community policing. Community policing is a crime fighting strategy that encourages law enforcement to work in partnership with the community to identify and reduce crime problems. Since 1994, COPS has provided more than $6.4 billion in funding to state and local law enforcement agencies to hire officers, provide training, and build community partnerships. Statistics indicate that 64 percent of U.S. law enforcement agencies, serving 86 percent of Americans, practice community policing.