Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch today announced that the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) in the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) awarded $7 million to help communities respond to high profile violence, including shootings that involve law enforcement officers. The award, made to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) in collaboration with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Yale School of Medicine, will help cities develop strategies to defuse tension and promote healing following events that cause collective community trauma.
“Violence does not occur in a vacuum,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch. “It has a powerful effect on the psyche of an entire community, stirring painful emotions and raising difficult tensions. The Department of Justice is determined to stand with our citizen and law enforcement partners as they grapple with the aftermath of painful incidents. As part of that commitment, these vital grants will help communities acknowledge the effects of violence, address collective trauma, and promote unity and healing where it is needed most.”
The grant, awarded by OVC as part of its Vision 21 Initiative, will provide resources to law enforcement agencies to develop, implement and assess preventive and responsive trauma-informed interventions intended to promote community engagement and address the consequences of violent acts, including shootings of and by law enforcement officers. The IACP and its partners, in consultation with OVC, will select up to six demonstration sites to create and test evidence-based models. They will also provide training and technical assistance to the sites and recruit and train a rapid response team that will be deployed to help law enforcement agencies and communities in the wake of a crisis. The rapid response team comprises consultants and subject matter experts from law enforcement departments, victim assistance organizations and mental health agencies.
This award strengthens the Department of Justice’s commitment to building bridges of trust between communities and the agencies that serve them. Vision 21 is designed to marshal data, research and technology to help criminal justice agencies and victim service organizations meet both the long-standing and emerging challenges facing crime victims in the United States. The initiative is central to OJP’s efforts to improve the effectiveness of the justice system and heighten confidence in the system’s operations.