Harrisburg – Sept. 7, 2018 – Finding new ways to reduce gun violence remains a top priority for cities and communities, state Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland) said today following the announcement that McKeesport received $149,999 in state funds to help reduce gun violence.

“The funding will allow McKeesport to deploy even more resources in the fight against gun violence,” Brewster said.  “The city has been working in concert with law enforcement, the housing authority, school district and other entities on strategies to halt gun violence.”

Brewster, who formerly served on council and as mayor of McKeesport, is currently the chair of the city’s housing authority.  He said he knows the importance of using all resources to combat gun violence. 

The funding will be channeled to the city through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency for the McKeesport Gun Violence Reduction Program.  The state dollars will be used to employ proactive policing, intervention strategies, community outreach and aspects of community policing.

Grant funding can be used for personnel, equipment and consulting.

Gov. Tom Wolf said today that seven other municipalities, in addition to McKeesport, have been awarded grants.  A total of $1.5 million was released for the program. 

“As a former councilman, mayor, chair of the housing authority, and ranking member of the Senate’s Law and Justice Committee, I realize the incredible challenges cities, school districts, and housing authorities face in dealing with gun violence,” Brewster said.  “State resources combined with local initiative can help save lives and protect communities.”

Brewster said he is pleased that the grant was approved and will work to help make more state resources available to fund additional local safety programs.  He said that the efforts of his office, McKeesport Mayor Mike Cherepko, District Attorney Steve Zappala, state Rep. Austin Davis (D-Allegheny) and other local officials in finding funding to support anti-gun violence initiatives are critically important. 

“My hope is that the anti-gun violence grant program can be expanded so that more communities facing gun violence challenges are able to receive assistance,” Brewster said. 

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