Winthrop, Revere, Chelsea, Malden & Everett Submit Community Innovation Challenge Grant to Form Metro Northeast Regional Drug Crime Task Force

December 3, 2012

A recent study by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) found that substance abuse, and related health issues surrounding substance abuse, were among the most critical public health needs facing Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop.

In response to these issues, the Town of Winthrop and the cities of Chelsea, Everett, Malden and Revere, along with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, have teamed up to submit a Community Innovation Challenge Grant (CIG) to the Massachusetts Executive Office for Administration and Finance. The team, with leadership from the Town of Winthrop, has been working on the grant application for the past several months to win an award of $295,943.00 in total.

“During my campaign for Mayor, I promised to create innovative solutions to public safety concerns facing Revere. I see this grant submission as another step towards combating drug related issues in our community and the surrounding region,” commented Mayor Rizzo.

These municipalities, recognizing that substance abuse is among the top public health and safety concerns in the region, are proposing to utilize grant funds to develop a comprehensive, multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional approach to addressing issues related to substance abuse and other inter-jurisdictional crimes

“The challenge of drug abuse knows no municipal boundaries. It’s important that we partner with our neighbors to work on a regional plan to coordinate treatment services to meet the increasing penetration of illegal and prescription drug abuse in our communities,” said Winthrop Town Manager James McKenna.

"Our top priority is to collectively address drugs in our communities and around our region. If successful with this grant, we'll be able to collaborate even more than we are now to prioritize public health and public safety initiatives to make our communities safer, healthier and drug free” stated Chelsea City Manager Jay Ash.

The proposal will build on existing partnerships among the five communities’ police departments. The grant asks for funding for the one-time purchase of investigative equipment along with establishment of a regional task force composed of public safety, health, and human services professionals, to jointly combat the regional drug problem. The grant would establish a regionalized, data driven approach to drug surveillance and investigations to provide each community with the information it needs to enhance its approach to drug enforcement.

"The health and safety of our Everett residents has always been a top priority for my administration, "states Mayor Carlo DeMaria, "Building on our existing partnership with surrounding communities, this grant will help to strengthen and expand our cooperative efforts in diffusing drug related issues."

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