Taunton, which has at least four known gangs, received a $100,000 to combat gang violence in the city throughout the next year, according to the Taunton Police Department.
Taunton received $100,000 from the state-funded Shannon Community Safety Initiative, the largest amount that police and city leaders ever remember getting from the program. The grant gives the department a boost to fight gang-related crime, but it also allows police to do more interactive work with youth who may be vulnerable to gangs looking to recruit them.
“It gives us a little more time to spend working on the gang problems and the youth drug dealing problems,” said Detective Sgt. Matthew Skwarto, who administers Taunton’s Shannon grant program. “We also use some of the money for youth mentoring programs. … Part of the whole thing is you get them on the right path early and deal with the ones who are in gangs and involved in drug and violence.”