ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan this week announced nearly $10 million in grant awards through the new Community Safety Works program to more than 300 business districts and nonprofit organizations across Maryland, advancing a key plank of the governor’s Re-Fund The Police Initiative.
Administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Community Safety Works awards grants to encourage the implementation of crime prevention strategies through physical design improvements, operational activities, community vigilance, blight removal, and increased property maintenance.
“Our $500 million Re-Fund The Police Initiative includes neighborhood safety grants to support hardware upgrades, lighting, cameras, and increased security services for community organizations, business districts, and Main Streets across the state,” said Governor Hogan. “With this first round of funding, we are empowering local organizations and residents to take an active role in making their communities safer.”
The grants were awarded in two categories: business district improvements and facility improvements that support projects and activities to make public and private spaces safer. This includes:
- Auto and pedestrian circulation improvements by slowing traffic so that streets are walkable and pedestrian friendly;
- Improving opportunities for “eyes on the street,” by removing barriers to sight lines, opening closed spaces, and renovating public spaces to draw regular visitors and family activity;
- Reinforcing community ownership by cleaning and beautifying streets, sidewalks, signage, and parks; and
- Official surveillance tools such as lighting, cameras, organized local resident patrols or staffed security patrols, and community policing initiatives developed in consultation with local law enforcement.
“The Community Safety Works program provides a new resource and model for revitalization with a specific focus on reducing crime,” said Housing Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “This new initiative will help make Maryland’s communities more welcoming and secure for residents and visitors alike.”
Business District Improvements
For business district improvements, $4,410,756 was provided to 54 recipients, many of which were designated Main Street Maryland communities and neighborhoods or nonprofit organizations whose mission and work substantially contribute to the economic development of a local business district. Projects include an award to Hamilton – Lauraville Main Street, Inc. in Baltimore City to build a play space on a vacant lot within the Main Street district that will activate the space and create more foot traffic and eyes on the street, and funding to the Downtown Frederick Partnership, Inc. to add lighting and improve pedestrian safety along Citizen’s Way, an alley connecting the Court Street Parking Garage to Market Street in Frederick.
Facility improvement grants totaling $5,389,939 were awarded to 250 Maryland-based nonprofit organizations, including funding to the Latin American Youth Center, Inc. in Prince George’s County and the Faith Temple Baptist Church of Charles County for security cameras and entry upgrades after both organizations experienced repeated vandalism and theft on their properties.
Additional information on the Community Safety Works program can be found online at https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Communities/Pages/csw/.