Murphy Administration Also Announces 25 Grant Recipients of $8.2 Million in Community-Based Violence Intervention Funding, the Largest Such Program in State History
PATERSON – Governor Phil Murphy and Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck today announced a $7 million investment in gunshot detection technology and other law enforcement equipment to reduce gun violence using federal American Rescue Plan funds. In addition, Governor Murphy and Acting Attorney General Bruck announced that 25 non-profit organizations will receive $8.2 million in grant funding for community-based violence intervention (CBVI) programming, the largest such investment in New Jersey’s history.
“Combating gun violence is a multi-faceted problem that requires a multi-faceted approach,” said Governor Murphy. “The funding announced today will provide resources to both law enforcement agencies and community partners, equipping them with much-needed resources as we continue to fight the epidemic of gun violence. Today’s announcement allows us to make our communities safer while we continue advocating for commonsense gun safety measures.”
“Today’s historic investment in gun violence prevention reflects the Murphy Administration’s commitment to protecting the safety of all New Jersey residents,” said Acting Attorney General Bruck. “I applaud Governor Murphy for recognizing that we cannot reduce gun violence unless we invest in both law enforcement and the community, and for demonstrating that one of the best ways to strengthen public trust is by ensuring public safety.”
New Jersey is investing $7 million in technology-driven violence reduction to allow communities across New Jersey to acquire and enhance gunshot detection technology and related infrastructure improvements, making it easier for first responders and law enforcement to more effectively respond to—and reduce—gun violence in New Jersey’s communities. This funding comes amid a national spike in gun violence.
The funding will allow recipients to acquire a fully integrated network of three distinct systems, including an acoustic detection system, a video management system, and a system of automatic license plate readers. When combined, these systems allow first responders to more quickly render lifesaving medical aid to victims of gun violence and assist law enforcement in identifying shooters, leading to faster apprehension and reduced instances of retaliatory violence.
Through this investment, agencies like the Paterson Police Department will be able to direct resources to areas where they are most necessary and at the exact time when such service means the difference between life and death. The technology will also help prosecutors obtain the kind of evidence necessary to meet their burden of proof and uphold community faith in the justice system.
“The $7 million we announced today for New Jersey police departments will help provide state-of-the-art technologies to combat the scourge of gun violence in our communities,” said U.S. Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. “This funding comes directly from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which I proudly helped pass last year. With it, our communities’ Finest will have the tools and resources they need to prevent and respond to gun violence. As we continue to mourn the tragic loss of Robert Cuadra, let us redouble our efforts to stomp-out gun violence in our streets. Enough is enough.”
“Gun violence has impacted far too many precious lives in Paterson and across our state,” said Assembly members Shavonda Sumter and Benjie Wimberly, whose district includes Paterson. “This senseless violence is upending the lives of families and our communities. The funding announced today by Governor Murphy and Acting Attorney General Bruck will help us combat the violence on our streets by both empowering law enforcement and community-based organizations that do critical groundwork. We must continue to work to create secure and healthy environments for all. We look forward to working with the administration to continue making Paterson safe.”
“Public safety is a high priority in Paterson,” said Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh. “We are combating gun violence in Paterson and this initiative will enhance our efforts. We appreciate the Governor’s leadership in making Paterson a safer city.”
Also announced today are the recipients of $8.2 million in state grant dollars for violence intervention programs, including 25 community organizations in 15 municipalities covering every region of the state. This historic investment will support intervention strategies that provide alternatives to violence and embody a community-based public safety model.
Among the recipients are two non-profit organizations that serve the Paterson area: Reimagining Justice, Inc. and the Juvenile Education and Awareness Project, both of which work to build community support for violence reduction. In 2021, law enforcement reported 110 shooting incidents in Paterson, resulting in 18 homicides by gunfire.
“The NJVIP community advocates have worked tirelessly to advocate for investment for community based public safety organizations to get meaningful investment for the lifesaving boot-on-the-ground work we have been doing in our communities to end gun violence,” said Dr. Liza Chowdhury of Reimagining Justice. “This investment today will help our organizations address the pain people face in communities most impacted by violence, provide desperately needed resources that help communities thrive and do the important prevention work that is needed so we don’t have to wait for someone to be the next gunshot victim. We thank the Governor’s office and leaders around the state who continue to support our work and honor their commitment by their investment.”
The complete list of grant recipients receiving funding under the CBVI program is as follows:
1. Juvenile Education and Awareness Project, Passaic ($47,087)
2. Reimagining Justice, Inc., Paterson ($500,000)
3. Newark Community Street Team, Inc., Newark ($499,996)
4. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Coastal & Northern NJ, Asbury Park ($93,416)
5. Mighty Writers, Camden ($500,000)
6. Advocacy Foundation, Inc., Atlantic County ($365,758)
7. HMH Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune ($499,957)
8. Hope and Future, Inc., West New York ($250,000)
9. James R Halsey Foundation of the Arts, Trenton ($50,000)
10. After School All Stars New Jersey, Newark ($118,950)
11. Salvation and Social Justice, Trenton ($500,000)
12. Center For Family Services, Inc., Camden ($245,008)
13. United Community Corporation, Newark ($500,000)
14. Life Worth Living, Inc., Bridgeton ($430,885)
15. Elizabeth Youth Theatre Ensemble, Elizabeth ($380,240)
16. Prevention Education, Inc. T/A PEI Kids, Lawrence ($348,990)
17. United Advocacy Group, Inc., Bridgeton ($261,310)
18. The Alcove Center for Grieving Children and Families, Inc., Galloway ($52,545)
19. Anti-Violence Coalition of Hudson County, Jersey City ($500,000)
20. Nicholas Luciano Safe Way Out A NJ Nonprofit, Mount Laurel ($200,000)
21. Inside Outside Circle Foundation, Newark ($181,153)
22. The HUBB Arts & Trauma Center (FP YouthOutCry Foundation, Inc.), Newark ($487,343)
23. Hear My Cries A NJ Nonprofit Organization, Newark ($498,000)
24. REFAL, INC., Newark ($500,000)
25. Weequahic Park Environmental Authority, Newark ($227,000)
These violence intervention and reduction announcements are part of the Murphy Administration’s ongoing efforts to prevent gun violence by addressing the root causes of violence, supporting innovative policing initiatives, building the technological infrastructure to improve response times, and engaging and empowering traditionally underserved communities to cope with the trauma gun violence leaves in its wake.