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City receives Federal funding to target gang violence

The City of Lethbridge has been successful in securing time-limited Federal funding to help address issues on gun and gang violence.

Lethbridge City Council on Tuesday voted to accept federal funding for the Building Safer Communities Fund (BSCF). As part of the acceptance, Council will sign the Contribution Agreement provided by Public Safety Canada for $665,618 to complete work contained within the approved one-year workplan on prevention and intervention initiatives to address and respond to gun and gang activities in the community.

The Federal BSCF has an objective of supporting Municipalities in efforts to address gun and gang prevalence, particularly among youth and young adults, by providing a determined funding allocation to support community-led projects to combat gun and gang violence and address knowledge gaps concerning the impacts of interventions in gun and gang violence.

The amount of BSCF support for a community is based on two major elements: crime severity (homicide by firearm, incidents of firearms offences, organized crime/street gang-involved crime) and population density. 

“The safety of our residents is always City Council’s No. 1 priority,” says Mayor Blaine Hyggen. “This new grant funding will help target gang threats in the community, as well as strengthen our understanding of community needs, trends and issues impacting the safety and wellbeing of the residents in Lethbridge.”

A working partnership between City of Lethbridge Administration and Lethbridge Police Services will manage BSCF in our community.

“Education and early intervention are critical to curbing the negative impact street gangs and violence can have on our youth,” says Downtown Policing Sgt. Ryan Darroch. “The Police Service welcomes the opportunity to partner with the City of Lethbridge to educate and support vulnerable youth in our community.”

“We are appreciative about this opportunity to address gang and gun violence through a preventative approach that supports our youth and overall community wellbeing and safety,” says Takara Motz, Community Social Development Operations Manager.

There is no net cost to the City of Lethbridge. All expenditures will be externally funded by this grant, with an opportunity to have the grant offset existing taxation and grant-funded position for eligible work done to support this grant. The City of Lethbridge will contribute approximately $26,402 of in-kind services.

The BSCF builds on the success of the Initiative To Take Action Against Gun and Gang Violence. This includes the Gun and Gang Violence Action Fund, a five-year $358.8 million investment announced in 2018, that brings together federal, provincial and territorial supports to tackle the increase in gun-related violence and gang activity in Canada.

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