Corning Police seek grant for justice program
The Corning Police Department will seek $150,000 in grant funds to complete an application for a $1 million Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program grant.
The City Council unanimously approved authorization for Police Chief Don Atkins to work with the Center for Evaluation and Research and the Tehama County Department of Education in preparing the application.
Councilman Tony Cardenas said the justice grant is a component of the larger Everett Freeman Promise Neighborhood Initiative federal grant that could amount to $30 million to the Corning area spread over a five year period.
The partnership team seeking the federal grant is lead by the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians and consists of the Corning, Corning Union Elementary School District, Corning Union High School District, Tehama County Office of Education, Shasta College, Tehama County Probation Department and Health Services Agency, Seed Ministries, and the Center for Evaluation and Research.
"The justice grant is the law enforcement component of the Everett Freeman Promise Neighborhood Initiative, but only entities that have police departments can apply for the justice grant. The city will apply for that component of the federal grant since it is part of the partnership and has a police department," said Cardenas, who is a member of the partnership's leadership team.
He said if the partnership receives the $30 million grant, it would be used to improve the educational and developmental outcome of children from cradle to college.
"The justice grant is $1 million over a 36-month period, but initially the first 15 months is considered planning and we can spend up to $150,000 for that," Cardenas said.
"That is basically all the planning, research, gathering of information and putting all the plan together. That plan is submitted and if that is approved then we go onto the next phase and you get the additional $850,000 to spend over the remaining period of time, up to 36 months. That is in essence what the plan is."
He explained that a big part of the mov ment now with the federal government is it has to be evidence-based programs.
"They are finding that all of these different programs they funded in the past didn't necessarily prove ... to be as fruitful as they thought," Cardenas said. "So part of this whole planning process is to make sure we come up with a plan that is sure to have an impact. The two areas of focus in Corning from a crime point are gangs and drugs. That is going to be the focus of developing the program for us."
Development of the plan won't cost the city anything, Cardenas said, and it will be written by Matt Russell of the Center for Evaluation and Research.
The partnership team states the area of Corning and the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indian tribal lands has one of the highest rates of poverty, unemployment and crime in the state. It notes that all schools in the area have been designated as "low performing," and all schools are in program improvement through the state's Department of Education.
The team has already successfully applied for a $500,000 grant specifically for building and planning the initiative for submission to US Department of Education. The partnership was one of 10 communities nationwide to receive this grant.
Application and submittal for the promise neighborhood grant will be accomplished in steps, according to the team.
The first step is an in-depth needs assessment and planning process which will lead to a "continuum of solutions."
Steps two and three include prioritization and development of a mutual accountability plan.
"Once needs, gaps, and barriers to service are clearly qualified, collaborators identify model programs and best practices using the program model tool," the initiative documents state.
The goal of the initiative is to "build a seamless continuum of solutions that builds upon local resources to create sustainable systems change."
During the planning stage, the partnership team will develop Promise Neighbor indicators, which will guide the entire process.
Once submitted to the US Department of Education, the Everett Freeman Promise Neighborhood Initiative will go through a competitive grant process.
The initiative was named after former Paskenta tribal leader Everett Freeman, who was known for his dedication to children, education and his community. Freeman served as the tribe's chairman from 1994 until his death in 2010.