Governor Wolf Highlights $355 Million Commitment to Safer Communities, Announces Opening of Violence Response Programs

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Governor Tom Wolf was joined today by Democratic Legislative Champions for Gun Violence Prevention and local gun violence advocates to highlight his $355 million commitment to safer communities in Pennsylvania.

At Mander Playground, where the community has witnessed first-hand a bloodbath fueled by gun violence, Governor Wolf announced the availability of $100.5 million to support effective violence response efforts community throughout Pennsylvania.

“I have committed $355 million and taken as much executive action as possible throughout my administration to prevent more bloodshed and more tears being shed in this Commonwealth,” Governor Wolf said. “Pennsylvanians deserve to live their lives free from fear induced by gun violence. Through continued creativity, investment and partnerships, safer communities are within reach.

Through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), two new violence intervention programs are now open. Governor Wolf secured record funding for PCCD in his final budget.

The $85.5 million Violence Prevention and Intervention Program (VIP) is open to community organizations, municipalities, institutions of higher education and district attorneys to apply for funding for a wide variety of programs that address community violence and prevention efforts. Grants can range from $25,000 to $2.5 million to support project activities over a 29-month period. Applications can be submitted online, the application period closes on October 12, 2022.

A new program, the $15 million Coordinated Community Violence Response (CVI) Strategies Pilot Program, aims to invest in community-based violence prevention and response strategies in targeted service areas. This new initiative will support five to eight pilot projects that will implement transformative strategies to prevent and respond to violence. Eligible applicants can request up to $3 million to initiate and implement a pilot project over a 32-month period. Applications can be submitted online, the application period closes on October 31, 2022.

“Community groups working tirelessly to combat violence have told us they need more resources: we have heard them and are responding to those calls,” said Senator Vincent Hughes. “Eighteen months ago, there was no money in this space. A year ago, we were able to invest $45 million in these groups. We look forward to seeing the life-changing work these groups are able to do.

“Philadelphia is supposed to be the city of brotherly love, but we don’t live up to that name,” Rep. Amen Brown said. “Our communities are suffering and young people are dying because of senseless acts of gun violence. We must do our part as elected officials to invest in our people and our communities. We can only do this by ensuring that gun violence prevention programs are accessible to young people to show them that they have options and that they don’t have to be a statistic Prevention starts at home, right here in our own backyards.

“The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus has worked with our leaders and Governor Wolf to make this important investment in violence intervention and prevention programs, as they have been proven to reduce the true costs of gun violence in our communities,” said Rep. Donna Bullock, chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus.

Without the support of the Republican-led General Assembly to enact common-sense gun laws and prevent gun violence, Governor Wolf has struggled to invest in solutions and take executive action to make Pennsylvania a safer place to live.

His investments totaled $355 million during his administration:

The Governor’s executive actions and support for changes to federal policy on gun violence include:

  • Create a Special Council on Armed Violence in 2019,
  • Agreeing to share criminal weapons data with the governors of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut,
  • Veto bills that disregard safety, including attempts to scrap licenses and background check requirements for concealed carry permits,
  • Immediately support and stand ready to implement new federal ghost gun rules to ensure those who cannot pass a background check cannot afford to make their own gun at home.

Governor Wolf served two terms as a constantly working leader for the people of Pennsylvania. Find out how his priorities for Pennsylvania fueled the return of the Commonwealth, leaving Pennsylvania in a much better place than when he arrived.

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