SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Federal funding, to the tune of $2 million has been announced to help fight and prosecute violent crime in and around Lackawanna County.

The announcement was made Monday afternoon on Courthouse Square in Scranton. Lackawanna County District Attorney Mark Powell said the funding will support his office’s new initiative aimed at reducing violent drug, gang and gun activity.

According to a media release, the $2 million Community Projecting Funding, secured by Congressman Matt Cartwright, will go to the Lackawanna County Gang and Gun Reduction and Intelligence Project (GGRIP).

Powell said GGRIP’s purpose is to enhance law enforcement’s ability to share intelligence and prosecute suspects involved in gang, drug and gun activity.

“Gangs have become increasingly sophisticated, and our law enforcement agencies are in dire need of this federal assistance to stay one step ahead of them, investigate and interrupt their networks and put these bad actors behind bars,” Powell said in a statement. “This funding will go a long way when it comes to keeping our community – and our officers – safe.”

Powell said the hope is GGRIP will make communities safer by using a multi-jurisdictional approach to increase public safety.

According to the media release, the funding for the GGRIP initiative will be used to:

  • Identify, disrupt and prosecute individuals involved in gang and illegal gun activity through aggressive investigation, patrol and interdiction efforts.
  • Act as a hub for intelligence analysis between law enforcement agencies to foster cooperation.
  • Offer gang, drug and illegal gun training to law enforcement partners.
  • Allow for more effective electronic surveillance monitoring of violent offenders and provide technical support services to law enforcement agencies throughout Lackawanna County.
  • Provide interview, interrogation and polygraph support to law enforcement partners.
  • Support community-based educational programs and targeted outreach to prevent gang affiliations.

“Our officers and law enforcement officials deserve to be equipped with the best resources, the best technology and the best colleagues geared for the job at hand,” Cartwright said in a release to the media. “The funding we’re announcing today will help our blue line operate at the highest level.”