Berkshire County has received more than $475,000 in grant funding to address, prevent and respond to violence against women and gang violence.
On Monday, Massachusetts announced nearly $13 million in state and federal money through two programs, the Violence Against Women Act STOP program (Services, Training, Officers, Prosecutors) and the Senator Charles E. Shannon Jr. Community Safety Initiative.
In the Berkshires, money was awarded to police departments, the city of Pittsfield and the Elizabeth Freeman Center.
“Our Administration remains committed to using every public safety tool available to protect residents and communities from violence,” Gov. Charlie Baker said in a news release. “For victims and survivors affected by these crimes, especially women and young people, these grants will help to equip victim-support organizations, criminal justice agencies, and community-based partners to respond effectively and compassionately.”
The largest funding piece for the Berkshires is a $330,000 grant to Pittsfield through the Community Safety Initiative.
The program “supports regional and multidisciplinary approaches to combatting violence through coordinated prevention and intervention, law enforcement, prosecution, and reintegration programs,” according to the release.
Pittsfield will continue to work closely with Northeastern University, as it has in previous years of the initiative, according to the state.
Also, Pittsfield Police received more than $50,000 through the Violence Against Women Act, while the Adams Police Department was awarded nearly $26,000.
“This is structured to help our victim advocate help victims of crime,” said Adams Police Chief Scott Kelley. “It allows him to do his job more effectively and gives us money that doesn’t have to come from the Police Department.”
The Elizabeth Freeman Center, based in North Adams, received a grant of close to $66,000 to help with its work assisting survivors and preventing domestic violence and sexual assault.
“Our shared security depends on providing qualified professionals with the resources they need to prevent and respond to crime while supporting victims and survivors,” said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, who chairs the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence.
“The agencies and organizations receiving these funds are bringing hope and healing to the people who need it most, and they strengthen our communities through their commitment to providing survivors and their families with safety nets and critical resources.”
Federal money also went to statewide organizations and branches of the state government, including the Department of Correction and Department of Public Health.