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SCNTR to receive nearly $1 million grant to combat violence in Selma

The Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth and Reconciliation received a Bureau of Justice Assistance grant from the Department of Justice worth nearly $1 million to reduce the city’s gang violence.

United States Attorney Richard W. Moore announced that the SCNTR will receive $992,237 to reduce the city’s gang violence.

The grants, awarded by the Department’s Office of Justice Programs, is part of over $458 million in funding to support state, local and tribal law enforcement efforts to combat violent crime in jurisdictions across the country from Attorney General William P. Barr.

Moore said the gang violence goes beyond the jail cells and courtroom.

“While we have made great strides in reducing violent crime in Selma, much of that progress has been on the ‘weeding’ side and not the ‘seeding’ side,” Moore said. “We cannot arrest or prosecute our way out of Selma’s violent crime problem.

“Law enforcement continues to make Selma safer by removing the most violent trigger-pullers from the community, but we must have community-based programs that target the root of criminal behavior which is poverty, unemployment and the lure of local criminal gangs. Unfortunately, we have seen over the years that gang members engage in violent retaliation against rival gang members with innocent citizens often caught in the crossfire.”

Moore said that SCNTR Executive Director Ainka Jackson and the Weed and Seed board in Selma will work closely together in the program and assist the local law enforcement.