BALTIMORE/ JUNE 05, 2018/ The Governor’s recent signing of MD HB432 successfully established The Maryland Violence Intervention and Prevention Program Fund. The $10M grant fund was created “to support effective violence reduction strategies by providing competitive grants to local governments and nonprofit organizations to fund evidence-based health programs or evidence-informed health programs”.
One of the seven organizations given designation in the grant is Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School (BCBOBS), specifically for their Police Youth Challenge (PYC) program. The fund will provide $300,000 annually from fiscal years 2020 – 2023 for the PYC, which aims to build trust and improve perceptions of officers and youth in the city.
Delegate Brooke Lierman states, “This bill demonstrates that our State government recognizes the need to invest in gun violence prevention programming and in programs that have demonstrated a positive impact on our youth and police. I’m so pleased we were able to support Outward Bound’s initiative to help build bridges between our young people and Baltimore police. I am hopeful that this kind of relationship-building will have positive effects on how our law enforcement officers interact with all Baltimore residents.”
The Police Youth Challenge has operated since 2008, and since January 2016 has expanded to become part of the Baltimore Police Department’s (BPD) weekly in-service training. Since that time the program has served over 4,500 participants across the BPD and 65 different Baltimore City Public Schools or Youth Serving Nonprofits. Executive Director of BCBOBS Ginger Mihalik shares, “This level of commitment builds the foundation from where we can help build sustainable, lasting change in Baltimore. Our organization is grateful for the support of this Bill and what it says about the strength of the PYC’s impact in our community.”
The Fund also establishes support via miscellaneous grants including $425k annually to the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Program (LEAD); $360k annually to Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for relocation of victims and witnesses of crime; $466k annually to the Attorney General for a firearm trafficking unit; $100k annually to Baltimore City for “strategic decision support centers”; $250k annually for the Child and Parent Resource Group, Inc.; and $475k annually to Prince George’s County Chief of Police for violent crime reduction.
At Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School, we value compassion, integrity, excellence, and diversity. We use experiential education techniques in a supportive yet challenging environment to teach our students that they are capable of more than they ever thought possible. Our courses have served the Baltimore community and its schools since 1986.