Gov. Wolf Announces New Violence Intervention and Prevention Technical Assistance Project to Support Grassroots Programs
Harrisburg, PA (STL.News) Governor Tom Wolf announced today that the School Safety and Security Committee (Committee) within the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) approved the launch of a new statewide technical assistance initiative to support local gun violence prevention efforts.
“Organizations working on the frontlines of community violence prevention play a vital role in making our communities safer, but often have limited resources and capacity,” said Governor Wolf. “This initiative will help grassroots groups and others engaged in this important work connect with and learn from each other as well as gain access to resources that can expand and sustain their life-saving efforts.”
In January 2022, PCCD announced the availability of up to $750,000 in state funds to support the Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) Technical Assistance Project. The competitive funding announcement sought proposals from eligible applicants with experience in delivering technical assistance and training, with an emphasis on supporting grassroots community organizations implementing community violence intervention strategies.
The Committee has approved a $750,000 request from WestEd, in partnership with Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), to implement the statewide VIP Technical Assistance initiative over a two-year period.
This initiative will establish and operate a Statewide Community of Practice consisting of Gun Violence Reduction and VIP grantees, as well as additional grassroots community-based organizations and stakeholders from across Pennsylvania. The initiative will offer a wide range of technical assistance, training, and capacity building supports for participating organizations, informed by a needs assessment conducted at the onset of the project.
In addition, the Community of Practice will provide space and opportunities for participants to engage with peers and content experts on topics ranging from gun violence reduction and community violence intervention strategies to nonprofit governance and program management to best practices for supporting frontline workers, participants, and staff.
The effort is just one more effort of Governor Wolf’s to combat gun violence in Pennsylvania:
- In 2019, he signed an executive order making sweeping changes to gun violence in Pennsylvania including the creation of a Special Council on Gun Violence.
- He has invested more than $50 million in grassroots, community gun violence prevention programs around the commonwealth.
- In December 2021, he vetoed Senate Bill 565, dangerous legislation that would have removed licensing and background check requirements for concealed carry permits and overturned Philadelphia’s requirement for a permit to open carry.
- In January of this year, he vetoed House Bill 979, which would discourage local jurisdictions from attempting to regulate firearms.
- Last week, Gov. Wolf and Pennsylvania State Police announced their readiness to implement stricter regulations on ghost guns in the commonwealth.