Mayor O’Connell secures nearly $2M grant to fund violence prevention program

The US Department of Justice awarded the grant to the Mayor’s Office of Community Safety.
Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 9:54 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 2, 2023 at 10:01 AM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Mayor Freddie O’Connell’s office announced it was awarded a nearly $2 million grant by the Justice Department to launch its first violence prevention program on Monday.

According to the press release, the US Department of Justice awarded Nashville’s Office of Community Safety $1,988,190 to develop its Community Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative (CVIPI).

The program will utilize the grant funds to allow for a community-focused approach to root out what causes violence and certain Nashville neighborhoods, according to the Mayor’s Office.

Mayor O’Connell’s Office of Community Safety pledges to hire and train what they refer to as “credible messengers,” or people who lived through violent situations. These Nashvillians live in communities where the most violence occurs and are expected to provide valuable insight into the search for solutions.

“As we advance our community safety plan, I expressed repeatedly that we hoped to expand upon successful initiatives, including group violence intervention,” Mayor O’Connell said. “This is an important tool and process that has worked well in other cities and is one of our best options to reduce gun violence and violent crime.”

The Office of Community Safety worked with the Metro Nashville Police Department and community organizations to secure the grant, according to the release.