Harkins, Merski: Nearly $222,000 awarded to fight crime, reduce recidivism

ERIE, March 9 – The city of Erie will have new resources to combat crime, reduce gun violence and guide former offenders toward productive lives thanks to $221,836 in grant funding, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski announced today.

The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the funding from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency includes three separate grants of federal funding that will continue the work of a police intelligence analyst, target gun violence and redirect offenders toward productive lives. 

“Securing this funding will allow us to up our game when it comes to tracking, investigating and prosecuting crime,” Merski said. “Part of the funds will support the work of a police intelligence analyst – a position that provides critical assistance in identifying suspects and witnesses and supplying other information that leads to arrests and convictions. Other funding will support ongoing targeted enforcement of gun and gang violence for safer neighborhoods.”

Harkins said, “Equally important to crime investigation and prosecution is how we deal with folks exiting the criminal justice system and returning to the community, because the resources we provide can make a critical difference in the path they take and whether they end up returning to productive lives or falling back into recidivism. Some of the funding we secured today will bolster services that steer ex-offenders in the right direction, and those efforts benefit our entire community.”

The lawmakers said the specific grants include the following federal funds:

  • $102,854 to the city of Erie for a second year of funding to the city’s intelligence analyst.
  • $64,223 to the Greater Erie Community Action Committee to enhance services provided through the Erie County Reentry Services and Support Alliance to people transitioning into the community from incarceration.
  • $54,759 to the city of Erie in federal Project Safe Neighborhoods funding to support the Erie City Police-PSN Western District project, which works to create safer neighborhoods through reduction in gun and gang-related violence.

More information on PCCD is available at https://www.pccd.pa.gov/.