Smith-Wade-El announces $4.4M in grants for Lancaster City

LANCASTER, Dec. 16 -- Rep.-elect Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, announced $4.4 million in grants have been awarded to Lancaster organizations by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

The grants will be used to improve community safety, support local law enforcement in transparency and accountability efforts, and help vulnerable populations and religious communities to protect themselves as the community pushes back against hate and white nationalism.

The first set of grants come from the Nonprofit Security Grant Program. Established in 2019 after the attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh that claimed the lives of 11 worshippers, the program supports grants for security enhancements to nonprofit organizations who principally serve individuals, groups or institutions that are included within a bias motivation category for single bias hate crime incidents as identified by the FBI’s Hate Crime Statistics publication, such as race/ethnicity/ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, and gender identity.

The following Lancaster organizations received these grants:

  • $50,000 to Bright Side Opportunities Corporation.
  • $97,000 to the Church World Service Lancaster.
  • $97,000 to the Islamic Community Center of Lancaster.
  • $25,000 to the Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition.
  • $6,296 to Lancaster Pride.
  • $10,000 to Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Lancaster.

“What unifies the recipients of these grants is that they are all life-affirming organizations, who work toward the vision of the community we all deserve. They represent the best of our community,” Smith-Wade-El said. “While we should not need to be concerned about hate-driven violence, the reality is that we must be, and I am grateful to our colleagues in the commonwealth for their support of Lancaster.”

Funding can be used for safety and security planning, safety and security equipment and technology, training, building upgrades, vulnerability and threat assessments, and other security enhancements.

The second is from the new Local Law Enforcement Support Program:"

  • $4 million awarded to the City of Lancaster Officer Retention & Recruitment for the purchase of body worn cameras (excluding any cameras for civilians) and interview room cameras. Money will also be used to hire civilian personnel including a GIS mapping technician and NIBRS data entry clerk., upgrade the records management system, purchase upgraded servers and conduct officer training.

The third is from the State Children's Advocacy Center Fund. These grants are distributed to organizations serving the child victims of sexual abuse and physical abuse.

  • $47,000 awarded to Lancaster General Hospital CAC Compliance Support. The money will be used to improve the experience of children and non-offending caregivers by having a staff member, a Customer Service Specialist, provide consistent supervision/observation of children and non-offending caregivers from entry to handoff to the Forensic Interviewer.

The fourth is from the State Violence & Delinquency Prevention Programs Funds:

  • $46,976 awarded to Lancaster Bench Mark Program to establish and operate a diverse Youth Justice Advisory Board Council.

“This state funding will provide significant support to local efforts to build a stronger and safer Lancaster City for all of us,” Smith-Wade-El said. “These grants answer community demands for greater accountability in law enforcement and in programs serving the most vulnerable in our society. As your representative, I will be committed to bringing in serious investments in Lancaster City to make it a safer, more equitable place for all. These grants are a solid start toward building a stronger Lancaster City without increasing the burden on local taxpayers.”

More information on PCCD grants can be found here.