Fresno City Council advances violence prevention grant, including funding for Advance Peace
Advance Peace was one of 13 community organizations to receive grant funding, including the Boys & Girls Club and Fresno Police Activities League.
The Fresno City Council voted unanimously Thursday to approve a $1.5 million grant for violence prevention. That included Advance Peace, the anti-gun violence program that the city previously denied funding months ago.
A total of $375,000 was allocated for Advance Peace. It was one of 13 community organizations like the Boys & Girls Club and Fresno Police Activities League that will benefit from the grant.
Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer emphasized that each program receiving a grant fits a need from prevention to intervention.
“There's some that are dealing with trauma-informed counseling. There's some that are providing mentoring,” he said.
He also stressed that all programs would be open to communication and collaboration with the Fresno Police Department, although there would be no formal ties between the department and the community organizations.
In June, Fresno police chief Paco Balderrama cut ties with Advance Peace after an employee of was arrested for conspiracy to commit murder. The city pulled $950,000 in funding for the organization.
The incident was something that council member Luis Chavez considered.
“I was also a little bit concerned about the issues that happened earlier in the program. But I know that the actions of one or two individuals is not reflective of the overall organization's goals and its mission,” he said.
The program approved for this grant focuses on at-risk youth between the ages of 9 to 17 years-old, a factor that city council member Garry Bredefeld noted ahead of his vote.
“This is a youth program. It is a prevention of violence, along with the other programs which I support,” he said.
The grant program runs for a year through the PARCS department. Money came from American Rescue Plan Act dollars, and the city’s General fund.