A state grant from the governor’s office could soon bring needed help to combat gang violence in Central Texas.
On Monday, city and county leaders went over plans to apply for the program, hoping to bring it to the region for the first time.
“As much as we love our community, we know that crime is prevalent here,” McLennan County Judge Scott Felton said.
The Texas Anti Gang Grant, also known as tag, could help deter gang activity in Waco and surrounding counties.
The city of Waco and McLennan County were invited to apply for the grant, going over the state funded program.
“The grant contemplates a leased building where local law enforcement agencies can work with state law enforcement agencies and potentially federal law enforcement agencies to co-locate and share information and create an operational team to go target gang violence,” Assistant City Manager Bradley Ford said.
TAG’s bi-annual grants range from $1 to $3 million. Officals say it would be an essential addition to Central Texas.
“The vast majority of violent crimes are committed by a small number of offender, so I think it is a great benefit to our local community that would have the resources that can really seek to address that and try to curb violent crime activities,” Ford said.
Law enforcement officials say gang activity has increased in the last year and they want to put an end to it soon.
“We do have a gang issue like all other communities our size and we need to do everything we can to stop it at the street level,” Felton said.
The next step will be the city formally applying for the grant, which they hope to discuss during next Tuesday’s city council meeting.