Mikulski Announces Key Federal Support for Statewide Anti-Gang Initiative

Effort will Coordinate Law Enforcement, Prosecutorial and Anti-Gang Programs

BALTIMORE, Md. - Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) today announced she has succeeded in her fight to secure $2 million in federal funds to support the creation of a statewide anti-gang initiative in Maryland. The initiative will be led by U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who joined Senator Mikulski and Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) at today's press conference.

"Gangs know no borders, either internationally or within their own region. We need to continue to work to protect our neighborhoods and families - that means safer streets and safer communities," said Senator Mikulski. "This funding will help clean up our streets and fight the crime that is destroying our neighborhoods. I am so proud to have fought for this federal investment and will continue to do all I can to make our communities safer."

The federal funding will support the U.S. Attorney's Office in its coordination of local, state and federal law enforcement, and will pay for prosecutorial and anti-gang programs in the Baltimore metro area and throughout Maryland. This initiative will create a more efficient and effective approach to help communities combat gang activity.

The Maryland U.S. Attorney's Office is responsible for prosecuting federal crimes, including illegal drug distribution and firearms violations, on a statewide level. This funding will support the U.S. Attorney's coordination with all levels of law enforcement and allow an increase in the participation of state and local stakeholders.

In addition to coordinating gang intervention and prevention efforts, the funding will allow the U.S. Attorney's Office to increase the prosecution of gangs and gang-related crime, support existing programs with proven track records in intervention and prevention efforts, and solicit grant proposals to solve gang-related problems that are not currently being addressed.

As the senior Democrat on the Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee, Senator Mikulski fought for this funding as part of the Science, State, Justice, Commerce and Related Agencies 2006 spending bill, which was signed into law by President Bush on November 22.

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