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Alexandria gets $750K in grant funds to combat spike in gun violence

Police at shooting scene near 5563 Holmes Run Parkway (staff photo by James Cullum)

The Alexandria Police Department and Alexandria Commonwealth Attorney’s Office were recently awarded large grants to curb a skyrocketing surge in gun-related crime incidents in the city.

The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services recently awarded APD with a $250,000 grant for gun violence and prevention, and the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office with a $497,000 grant to prosecute gun-related crimes.

“(T)he two departments will use those funds to collaborate on targeted initiatives to more effectively support impacted areas of the community and prosecute firearm-related crime,” APD said in a news release.

The city’s gun-related crime incidents jumped 100% in 2022, and APD said that the city is committed to reversing the trend.

Much of that crime occurred on Beat 34 in the Edsall Road corridor, and APD said that it will contract with a program coordinator to help prevent “localized cycles of violence.”

According to APD:

APD will contract a Program Coordinator to provide strategic leadership for an interagency Work Group and serve as a liaison to the community focused on the department’s Beat 34, comprising an area of southwest Alexandria focused around the Edsall Road corridor which has seen a marked increase in crime from 2022 to 2023. In that time frame, Part I (violent and property) crime increased by 67% in Beat 34, while Part II crime (crimes against society and lesser property crimes) increased by 179%, far outpacing the rest of the city.

Installing a coordinator for the Beat 34 Work Group will also strengthen the ongoing collaboration between APD, the Sheriff’s Office, the City Manager’s Office, the Department of Community and Human Services, Code Administration, the Office of Housing, and Alexandria Public Schools. With all parties unified, resources can be strategically deployed to where they are most needed in the city to reduce gun violence. Through the establishment of sustainable processes, the new Program Coordinator will also set up the Beat 34 Work Group to continue to smoothly operate on its own, effectively supporting that section of Alexandria.

The funding was made available through DCJS’s Firearm Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Program supporting Operation Bold Blue Line. The funds must be spent by Dec. 31, 2025, according to APD.

According to APD:

APD, the Commonwealth’s Attorney, and additional partners around the city are focused on putting this new funding toward tackling this public safety threat from all angles: prevention on the front end, and then collaboratively prosecuting to ensure that criminals are held accountable.

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