Providence gets $150K to reduce gun, gang violence

Mayor Angel Taveras says Providence has too many stories about gang violence, shootings and murder.

"We do not want to have any more press conferences announcing arrests of people accused of murder. I've done too many of those as mayor," Taveras said Thursday.

That's why local leaders secured a $150,000 grant to help curb gang violence in the city of Providence as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program.

Federal funding will go toward targeting "impact players" on the streets. The city will hire so-called street workers who will spend time getting to know crime-prone areas and work on preventing gang members from turning to violence.

Eighty-eight people were shot on the streets of Providence in 2013 alone; 11 of those were homicides. U.S. Sen. Jack Reed called the statistic tremendous and unacceptable.

"There's the cost to the health care system. There's the cost to the criminal justice system. But there's also a very powerful cost to the community, a sense of fear and foreboding," Reed, a Democrat, said.

Providence has received the grant in years past. Taveras said it helped assist in reducing gang violence, but he insisted there is a long way to go to make the city safe.

Providence is one of 16 communities in the U.S. to get Project Safe Neighborhoods money this year.