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Nearly $6 million in grants awarded to combat gang violence

On Tuesday, Governor Baker and Secretary of Public Safety and Security Dan Bennett were joined by members of law enforcement, legislators, and community organizers as $5.7 million in competitive grant funds was released to communities and local partners to bolster their efforts combatting gang violence.

From the Eagle Tribune

Methuen police Chief Joseph Solomon said the [Haverhill and Methuen] police departments work together on undercover drug enforcement and interdiction. They have also focused efforts on anti-gang activity, particularly around The Loop in Methuen, where police “were having issues with groups of gangs from other cities being able to come in and try to infiltrate our youth,” Solomon said.

“It actually impedes gang members’ ability to recruit when we have officers working anti-gang, talking to kids about getting jobs, don’t do drugs and gangs,” he said.

Haugh, of the Haverhill Police Department, said police don’t just work to steer kids clear of drugs and gangs, they also seek to help those who have already become involved with gang activity.

“We work with some that are in gangs to try to give them an alternate path, some that are on the fringe, to keep them clear of drugs and gangs – in a way to try and draw them back out of it,” Haugh said.

The awards were made to 15 communities and 11 research partners through the Shannon Community Safety Initiative, which targets gang violence in the Commonwealth. Sites chosen by the EOPSS to receive an award demonstrated high levels of youth violence and gang problems within their locality, submitted a comprehensive plan to work with multi-disciplinary partners, and committed to providing a coordinated prevention and intervention strategy.

Massachusetts among recipients of New Skills for Youth grants to improve career education

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Lt. Governor Polito with DHE Commissioner Santiago and Sue Coghlin Mailman, president of Coghlin Electric Contractors, Inc.

On Wednesday, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced that Massachusetts has been selected as one of 10 states to receive a $1.95 million grant to strengthen and expand high-quality career-education pathways for students. Governor Charlie Baker made the announcement during an event hosted by Bunker Hill Community College.

“Bunker Hill Community College is committed to creating clear pathways to fulfilling careers for our students,” said Bunker Hill Community College President Pam Eddinger, whose institution participated on the state team applying for the grant. “This grant will allow us to continue this important work through our partnerships with local businesses and corporations and well as high schools.”

The grant, which will be distributed over the next three years, is part of the $75 million, five-year New Skills for Youth initiative developed by JPMorgan Chase in collaboration with CCSSO and Advance CTE and aims to strengthen career-focused education starting in high school and ending with postsecondary degrees and/or industry-recognized credentials aligned with high-skill jobs.

Lt. Governor Polito marks Human Trafficking Awareness Day

The month of January has for the last several years been recognized as Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and here in Massachusetts, January 11 is Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, who chairs the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, spoke at an event sponsored by the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators to bring attention to this heartbreaking tragedy that is taking place in the shadows right here in the Commonwealth.

Governor Baker says Lahey Hospital is “a jewel and a treasure” during ribbon cutting

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The Lowell Sun reports on the opening of the new Emergency Department at Lahey Hospital in Burlington. Governor Baker was on hand and gave remarks during the ribbon cutting.

On Thursday, officials held the ribbon cutting for the Joseph C. Corkery Emergency Center, a 41,000-square-foot facility that cost about $80 million. The previous facility, which opened in 1980, was only 12,500 square feet.

Creighton, the division chair of hospital-based services and chair of the emergency department, stressed that patients will have more privacy in the larger wing.

“They’ll have a private space to be cared for, so they can be treated with dignity and respect,” Creighton said while touring the new facility on Thursday.

“Patients can hold hands, which is not ideal,” said Howard Grant, Lahey’s president and CEO.

In remarks, Governor Baker called Lahey “a jewel and a treasure,” congratulating and thanking all those involved in making the expansion possible. The governor also praised the Lahey organization for what they do for the health of those in eastern Massachusetts.

Innovative automotive technology program helps inmates gain skills

The Automotive Technology Program, an initiative of the Massachusetts Department of Correction, was developed in order to provide inmates with skills and certifications that they can use to gain employment upon their release back into the community. Governor Baker toured the Milford facility with EOPSS Secretary Dan Bennett and others, and was able to engage with the inmates enrolled in the course.

DOC Automotive Technology Program 01.12.17

Lt. Governor Polito on Cape Cod

On Thursday, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito participated in the swearing-in of Barnstable County Sheriff James Cummings. Sheriff Cummings and the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office has been an important partner with the Baker-Polito Administration in the fight to combat opioid addiction.

In addition to a tour of Cape Cod Community College’s science department and a visit to Cape Cod Hospital, Lt. Governor Polito also signed Community Compacts with the towns of Bourne and Falmouth.

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