More than $107,000 in grants will be going to Birmingham to reduce violent crime in crime-heavy areas.
Funds for the three grants will be provided by the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program, which was launched in 2001 by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) with the help of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). It is a nationwide initiative between local, state and federal law enforcement, prosecutors and others with the expressed goal of reducing gun violence.
Since then, $1.5 billion have been allocated by the federal government to support PSN.
The three grants will be administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA).
The city of Birmingham will receive $49,000 to improve technology to target areas of the city with high crime rates.
Better Basics Inc. will receive $29,117 to provide students at Central Park Elementary School in Ensley and Martha Gaskins Elementary in Center Point with programs to help students graduate high school.
The OFFENDER Alumni Association will receive $29,890 to expose at-risk youth to positive role models such as formerly incarnated individuals who have seen success after finishing their prison sentences.
According to Neighborhood Scout, Birmingham is among the most dangerous cities in the United States, only safer than 1% of other U.S. cities. Birmingham has a violent crime rate of 16.61 per 1,000 residents.
Someone's chances of becoming a victim of violent crime in Birmingham is one in 60. In Alabama, these chances are one in 225.
Ensley, South Pratt, West End, West Princeton, Jones Valley, Fountain Heights, City Center, Avondale, Collegeville, East Birmingham, South Woodlawn, Wahouma and Oak Ridge Park are among the most dangerous neighborhoods in the city.
Homicides are already up in Birmingham this year. Approximately 141 died from homicides in Birmingham in 2021, up from 125 in 2020 and 63 in 2014. By mid-August, Birmingham had already suffered 94 homicides this year, though the Birmingham Police Department (BPD) only considered 85 of those deaths as murders.
The growth in violent crime has led to a rapid decline in Birmingham's population since the 1960s. Birmingham is no longer the largest city in Alabama, with Montgomery and Hunstville taking the lead.
Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.