Gang violence prevention money headed to Merced
June 28, 2016 - - Gov. Jerry Brown approved the state budget Monday that includes the $4.5 million championed by Merced-area elected officials to fight gang violence and other law enforcement issues.
The Violence Interruption/Prevention Emergency Response, or VIPER, program uses social media, gang sources and information databases to intervene before violence happens, according to leaders. Another $20 million in the state’s budget is set to go to police departments with 100 or fewer officers, which describes all six police departments in the county, to implement plans to work with young people before they join gangs, among other efforts.
In negotiating with Democratic legislative leaders on the $122.5 billion spending plan, Brown secured a commitment to boost the state's rainy day fund, pay down debts and use cash instead of debt for building maintenance and construction.
The Merced specific funding was pushed through the state Legislature by Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, and state Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres. Another $1.1 million in the state budget would pay for emergency preparedness equipment at UC Merced.