GREENVILLE, April 13, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Justice has awarded an $800,000 grant to a collaborative developed by four local organizations through the Bryne Criminal Justice Innovation (BCJI) Program to create the Greenville Safety Collaborative Project.
The Community Foundation of Washington County, Washington County Economic Alliance, Greater Greenville Development Foundation, Greenville Police Department and Rural LISC have partnered to complete the 3-year project within the Central Business District of Downtown Greenville, Mississippi utilizing Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design training and practices. The Greenville Safety Collaborative Project was one of twenty (20) award recipients nationally, and it is the only recipient of this award in the State of Mississippi. “We have momentum in our Washington County communities,” said WCEA Executive Director, Will Coppage. “It is an honor to have been selected by the U.S. Department of Justice. This program will provide an opportunity to create echos of positive, dynamic change.”
The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), a division of the The U.S. Department of Justice, launched the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation (BCJI) program in 2012 to encourage data-driven, comprehensive, and community-led strategies to reduce crime and spur revitalization. The Greenville Safety Collaborative Project will verify chronic violent crime micro-hot spot locations within the Central Business District, identify strategies to reduce crime, engage community stakeholders in trust building with the City, law enforcement and other partners, and identify specific strategies to reduce crime. “Greenville, Mississippi is a wonderful place to live, work, and play,” said Rural LISC’s Workforce Development Program Director, Justin Burch. “The city has seen real momentum with downtown redevelopment, and we see this programming as only furthering Greenville’s revitalization as the Delta’s premier community.”
Reiterating the positive impact of collaboration, Melanie Powell, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Washington County, commented “Communities are stronger when nonprofit organizations, local businesses, and government work together collectively. This project will be a success as a result of that.”
A component of the BCJI grant includes the revitalization of blighted areas within the targeted community. In recent years, the Central Business District has seen private investments in community-oriented businesses including resturants, floral and gift shops, and boutique stores. These investments, coupled with the recent acquisition of the Hafter Properties by the Greater Greenville Development Foundation and the anticipated construction of a new multi-million-dollar Federal Courthouse, have sparked new interest in the return to downtown. “Revitalization efforts are continuing in Downtown Greenville. The funds received for the implementation of the Greenville Safety Collaborative Project will propel these efforts, creating a safe environment for businesses, patrons, and residents in the Central Business District,” remarked Daniel Boggs, CEO of Greater Greenville Development Foundation.
For more information please contact:
Angelica Motton, Workforce & Special Programs Coordinator
Washington County Economic Alliance