The Manchester Police Department has announced the formation of a multi-agency collaboration to tackle gun and gang-related crime in the city.
The group was recently awarded a $50,000 grant from a federal Department of Justice program. The money will be used to increase patrols in high crime areas and parole check-ins with probationers and at-risk youth. Manchester Chief David Mara says a big part of this program is showing potential offenders that they mean business.
“If you commit a crime with a firearm you will be arrested, you will be prosecuted, you will go to jail. If you commit a gang related crime, we will charge you with gang enhancement penalties which could lead up to 10 to 30 years in prison.”
Besides deterrence through harsh penalties, Mara says the program also involves outreach with youth and partnering with social service providers.
The working group formed in July in response to a high-profile gang fight and a spike in gun crimes.