The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) has selected the Gang Reduction and Intervention Program (GRIP) in Richmond, VA, as a winner of the 2009 Webber Seavey Award for Quality in Law Enforcement. Richmond is one of OJJDP's demonstration program sites and has received extensive resources and assistance from the Office in developing their approach to address youth gang issues. This year's winners were honored in ceremonies held in conjunction with IACP's Annual Conference in Denver, CO, on October 3–7, 2009. GRIP is one of three programs worldwide to receive this year's award.
Administered by the Richmond, VA, Police Department, GRIP is a collaborative effort between the city of Richmond and Federal, State, and local partners to significantly reduce gang activity in targeted neighborhoods. Its goals are to significantly reduce youth and young adult gang crime in an area on the city's Southside through the application of proven practices that provide youth and young adults with healthy alternatives to joining gangs.
GRIP helped decrease violent crime in the targeted area between 2005 and 2008a 17 percent reduction in rape and an 89 percent reduction in homicides. GRIP's 400 volunteers from 50 faith-based and community groups work with about 4,000 at-risk youth per week.
GRIP encompasses more than 40 programs that include health care, afterschool care, English as a Second Language and Spanish as a Second Language classes, job development, community revitalization, and a host of other programs that provide the community, and specifically youth, a positive alternative to gangs. Recognized by the Department of Justice as a "Best Practices" program, GRIP is being expanded within the city to include the Northside.
The Webber Seavey Award is presented annually in recognition of excellence in law enforcement and dedication to the quality of life in local communities. The award is named for Webber S. Seavey, IACP's first president. IACP is the world's oldest and largest nonprofit membership organization of police executives, with more than 20,000 members in more than 89 different countries.