Bizzarro, Merski, Harkins tout $835,000 grant for violence intervention and prevention efforts

Funding awarded to Erie County District Attorney’s Office

ERIE, March 27 – Erie County has been awarded grant funding to help bolster public safety and violence prevention efforts, state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Bob Merski and Pat Harkins, all D-Erie, announced Wednesday.

The Erie County District Attorney’s Office has been awarded an $835,978 grant to address youth and individuals with mental health issues at risk for engaging in violence. The DA’s office says this grant will help increase access and connections to support services, promote quality of life and create safer communities.

“This is important funding that will help the Erie County District Attorney’s office take on youth and mental health case managers, putting more effort into reducing crime by addressing mental health issues first,” said Bizzarro. “When people receive proper treatment, they also receive a better quality of life, which can lead to less violence. This grant is a win for safety and security in Erie County.”

“The issue of gun violence has been plaguing our communities for entirely too long,” said Rep. Bob Merski (D-Erie). “Every member in every community in Pennsylvania deserves to live free of the fear of being yet another victim of senseless gun violence. My hope is that this grant funding will provide our law enforcement officials with the tools they need to continue combatting the scourge to our communities that gun violence has caused.”

“Stopping the epidemic of gun violence and making our communities safer is a commonsense initiative that is agreeable to everyone,” said Rep. Pat Harkins (D-Erie). “We must continue working in unison to find solutions that cease gun violence once and for all, and this grant funding gets us one step closer to this shared vision.”

The funding was designated through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s Violence Intervention and Prevention program, which supports a wide range of community-led strategies to prevent gun violence and address its impacts. A total of 40 projects across the commonwealth received funding through this round of grants.