WACO, Texas (FOX 44) – The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that the City of Waco will receive a $1.46 million grant to promote violence prevention and intervention.

Prosper Waco will administer the grant, which is the result of a collaborative effort involving the City of Waco and the Waco Police Department.

The City of Waco says the grant is part of $100 million in grants awarded by the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs. The Community Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative (CVIPI) funds are to help communities across the U.S. reduce gun crime and other serious violence.

The Waco grant is in response to an application from Prosper Waco – developed with the City of Waco and the police department. It will support a three-year effort called Change Matters Locally, and will involve community-based organizations.

The awards announced on Friday are funded in part through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, and mark a historic investment in community violence intervention programs, according to a Department of Justice release.

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland noted the “heroic work” of America’s law enforcement professionals, and added, “We must enlist the help of trusted messengers and local organizations that have their pulse on community needs. These investments represent a significant step towards finding durable solutions to our most pressing public safety challenges.”

The CVIPI funds will develop and expand the local infrastructure needed to build community safety and strengthen neighborhoods, the DOJ release said. They will support holistic, crossagency collaborations, seed new efforts and fund expansion plans in both community-based organizations and local government agencies.

It is intended to “build the capacity of smaller organizations, offer technical aid to jurisdictions
that do not receive federal funding and invest in research and evaluation to better understand what works to reduce violence,” the release said.

A Bureau of Justice Statistics analysis says that of more than 21,500 murders known to law enforcement in 2020, more than half (56 percent) of the victims were ages 15-34.