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Public Safety

MAPC | Promoting Smart Growth & Regional Planning

MAPC works closely with community groups, first responders, municipal leaders, and the state to help prevent violence in our communities and ensure the public’s health, safety, and emergency preparedness.

HOMELAND SECURITY

MAPC serves as Massachusetts’ Homeland Security fiduciary, distributing Federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grants received by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to partners throughout the state.

MAPC was chosen by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security through a competitive process to distribute State Homeland Security Program grants from DHS. Our team manages grants given to four regional Homeland Security Councils and provides planning, procurement, budgeting, reporting, administrative, project development, and contractor, vendor and project management services that help make the Commonwealth a safer place to live and work. Learn more about Homeland Security.

COMMUNITY SAFETY

MAPC’s Metro Mayors Coalition receives Senator Charles E. Shannon, Jr. Grant funds to support its Metro Mayors Community Safety Initiative (CSI). The CSI brings together regional law enforcement and prevention partners to combat youth violence and gang involvement through law enforcement , job training, and after-school programs. Metro Mayors CSI partners from across the eight communities coordinate their activities and bridge communication gaps between law enforcement and violence prevention leaders, enabling them to properly identify and address gang activity.

Metro Mayors CSI partners base their enforcement and prevention efforts on the best practices outlined in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Comprehensive Gang Model.

Partners offer other services tailored to the individual needs of at-risk, proven-risk, or high-risk youth and meet monthly to share information and updates, seek advice from each other, and collaborate on new programming for youth, families, and the community at large. The Metro Mayors CSI is overseen by a steering committee chaired by MAPC’s Assistant Director of Municipal Collaboration Amy Reilly. The committee consists of funded program partners representing law enforcement and social service organizations as well as a representative from the CSI’s research partner, UMass Boston. Learn more about community safety in 8 Greater Boston communities here.

 

Metro Mayors Community Safety Initative

Questions?

For more information, please contact Assistant Director of Municipal Collaboration Amy Reilly at 617.933.0765 | areilly@mapc.org

Grants Management and Procurement Specialist Christine Howe at 617.933.0732 | chowe@mapc.org


 

Metro Mayors

Community Safety Initiative (CSI)

The Metro Mayors Community Safety Initiative (CSI) receives Senator Charles E. Shannon, Jr. Grant funds from the Commonwealth to implement regional strategies to combat youth violence and gang involvement through regional law enforcement efforts, job training programs, and after-school initiatives.

Established with support from the Metro Mayors Coalition in 2006, the Senator Charles E. Shannon, Jr. Community Safety Initiative grant program supports innovative, regional approaches to preventing youth and gang violence. The Metro Mayors CSI includes eight communitiesCambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Quincy, Revere, Somerville, and Winthrop, is one of 15 sites across the state funded by the Shannon Grant. This funding is overseen by the state’s Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS).

The Metro Mayors Community Safety Initiative works in concert with other programs, including the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative, Youth Jobs programs, and Department of Public Health violence prevention grants. Check out our advocacy brief for more information on the activities that the Shannon Grant program funds.

Partner Agencies

Law Enforcement Partners Prevention Partners
Cambridge Police Department City of Cambridge Youth Programs
Cambridge Community Art Center
Chelsea Police Department City of Chelsea - Jordan Boys & Girls Club
Roca, Inc.
Everett Police Department Everett Public Schools
Everett Teen Enrichment Center
Malden Police Department City of Malden - Summer Youth Workforce
Quincy Police Department Quincy Recreation Department
Revere Police Department Revere Police Athletics League (PAL)
Somerville Police Department Teen Empowerment Somerville
Winthrop Police Department Winthrop Community Against Substance Abuse (CASA)

THE CHALLENGE:

Across the eight communities partnering as the Metro Mayors Shannon Grant CSI (Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Quincy, Revere, Somerville, and Winthrop), youth violence and gang activity pose a threat to the safety and well-being of diverse populations.

Over the years, the CSI partners have found that many circumstances contribute to the gang and youth violence activity in these communities, including shifting populations, high-levels of poverty, and local budget cuts that have left many youth without positive alternatives outside of school.

The dense geography of these urbanized communities and the transportation links between them allow gangs to move from one community to another to recruit gang members and commit crimes.

Every day more young people are reaching an age where they become susceptible to at-risk behavior, peer pressure, and the stresses of the city environment.

Compounded by a lack of jobs, the need for actively steering youth away from lives of crime is growing. Data shows that the communities involved in the Metro Mayors Shannon CSI face above-average risk factors for gang involvement, including higher-than-average poverty levels, lower achievement in schools, higher than average poverty levels, increasingly diverse populations, and few services to connect them to social opportunities.

MAPC's Metro Mayors Coalition is focused on the unique challenges affecting the communities in the region, and addresses them through regional collaboration and coordination of the Metro Mayors Shannon CSI.

Metro Mayors

Community safety initiative in action

Throughout the year, the Metro Mayors Community Safety Initiative coordinates events, sponsors programs, and supports local communities.

Accomplishments

The Metro Mayors CSI provides programming to thousands of youth throughout the region each year. Metro Gang Task Force units and law enforcement directed hot spot patrols occur in a number of locations to prevent gang activity and youth violence. Prevention partners host numerous community-wide events and provide after school programming and job opportunities for youth in their communities.

For more information on the effect of the Metro Mayors CSI in partner communities in 2016, read this brief compiled by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.

Metro Gang Task Force

The Metro Gang Task Force, funded by the Metro Mayors CSI, is comprised of police officers from Metro Mayors communities who work to deter gang and youth violence by providing a visible presence in the region’s hot spots. Officers establish a dialogue with young people when conducting their weekly joint operations. The task force serves as an information-sharing body, with all the partners sharing general strategies that are effective in reducing gang violence.

Basketball Tournament

Every year, the Metro Mayors CSI holds a basketball tournament to  bring together youth and police officers from all of its partner agencies. The tournament, held since 2009, allows officers and program partners to engage with youth in an informal setting and  provides program participants with an opportunity to have fun, compete,  and build lasting relationships with law enforcement from their community and other youth from surrounding communities.

Shannon Day on the Hill

The annual Shannon Day on the Hill has been held since 2009 to bring program youth from across Massachusetts together with police chiefs, legislators, and municipal officials. The Day on the Hill opens up the State House to youth involved in the program, allowing them to share their success stories and the importance of the programming with their legislators, while providing a structured mechanism to advocate for the Shannon Grant program to their local legislators.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

WHAT OUR YOUTHS ARE SAYING

"Growing up I had a negative perception of the Police, and I believed you could not trust them.  Through these meetings I learned that all police are not out to get you – In fact they are there to help and WANT to help!"

- City of Cambridge Youth

 

"The relationships that I have built with the staff members are extremely valuable to me. Their advice has helped me make the life changing choices I have made, such as helping me through the college process and helping me choose the right path. Without their guidance I wouldn’t have gotten any of the college application process complete. The Club has been my home away from home, and I truly believe that their effort and support has made me want to push myself and further my success."

- City of Everett Youth

"In the past I have had a real hard time trusting a lot of the police I came in contact with. This distrust that had built up inside of me, not only made me feel the need to avoid most law enforcement I saw, but had actually brought me to the point where I felt as though calling the police for help would be corny or straight up whack.

But why would I be embarrassed or afraid to call those who are here to serve and protect when things get too out of hand? When things might lead to someone getting hurt or even dying? The reality is that the gap between youth and police is wide and that bridging the gap isn’t going to happen overnight. It is going to take a lot of understanding, patience, honesty and integrity from both law enforcement and the youth of Somerville.

Youth shouldn’t feel resentment toward police, especially if we haven’t committed any serious crime or broken any laws. And, I understand that as upholders of the law, you police officers are put under a lot of scrutiny in the department with Internal Affairs, corruption, and certain politics that get thrown into the mix."

- City of Somerville Youth