Harkins, Merski: $1.6M awarded to reduce gun violence, assist law enforcement, help former offenders return to community

ERIE, Dec. 1 – A grant of more than $1.64 million to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office will fund measures to reduce gun violence, bolster law enforcement, and provide former offenders the supports and services needed to resume productive lives in the community, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski announced today.

The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency will fund resources over a 24-month period to help implement UnifiedErie’s Group/Gun Violence Reduction Strategy.

“This grant is going to fund targeted intervention strategies, street outreach, and other programs that have proven to reduce violence and help former offenders transition back to productive lives,” Merski said. “All are investments in a safer, stronger community.”

Harkins said, “The funding awarded today is going to support programs that give residents a greater voice in fighting crime, expand outreach to at-risk youth beyond the schools and into the neighborhoods, boost law enforcement’s ability to track and prosecute offenders, and connect former offenders with job resources and other supports to help them turn their lives around.”

The grant is part of a package of $15.7 million in funding from PCCD to support local strategies to stop gun and group violence. More information about the grants is available here.