Communities across the state receiving $5.6 million to reduce gang violence

Communities receiving grants include Chicopee, Pittsfield, Springfield, and Holyoke

BOSTON (WWLP) – The state is granting $5.6 million in funding to help communities across the state, including several in western Massachusetts, reduce gang violence.

Governor Charlie Baker announced the Shannon Community Safety Initiative grants at the State House on Monday. The grants will help nearly 30 communities keep kids off the streets through education and diversion programs.

State awards $5.65-million to combat gang violence in cities

Some of the communities receiving grants include Chicopee, Pittsfield, Springfield, and Holyoke. Springfield was awarded one of the largest grants of the group with their funding totaling $595,000. Holyoke will receive $385,000.

“This is the kind of program that we know makes a difference and can change lives and help improve opportunity for kids and families across Massachusetts,” Gov. Baker said.

Massachusetts seeks to keep young people out of gangs & prisons

UMass Amherst will get about $40,000 to research strategies to support cities and towns with their programs.

The Baker-Polito Administration has awarded more than $26 million in program funding since taking office.