FILE - Police squad car, patrol car

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced nearly $8.8 million in grants for local law enforcement agencies and community-based criminal justice programs.

“Protecting communities across the Commonwealth and ensuring the safety of all Virginians requires a diverse group of partners, innovative and evidence-based strategies, and smart investments in a wide range of programs,” Northam said in a news release. “These grants will provide critical resources to agencies, organizations, and law enforcement initiatives, and strengthen our ongoing efforts to prevent violent crime and address the challenges facing our criminal justice system.”

The grants include nearly $3.77 million in federal funding through the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant, which provides funding for equipment and support for programs. Among these programs are community-based gun violence prevention programs, community policing, gang- and drug-related crime reduction and youth engagement.

Funding will be provided for two gun violence prevention initiatives. $75,543 will go to the Roanoke Police Department for a Rapid Engagement of Support in the Event of Trauma Coordinator. The program provides information to residents about assistance available after a homicide or other traumatic event. Another $142,300 will be spent on The Violent Crime Review, which is an initiative run by the Hampton Commonwealth’s Attorney and the John Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research to study violent crime data and recommend ways in which it can be reduced.

“Our ability to address and curb violent crime in our communities requires a collaborative approach between public safety, community-based organizations, and community members,” Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran said in a news release. “This grant funding is key to supporting these critical partnerships and part of Governor Northam’s holistic approach to addressing the day-to-day gun violence in our most vulnerable communities.”

Additional funding will go to initiatives to fight opioid abuse and sexual assault.

Staff Reporter

Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and Ohio for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.