Perhaps COPWATCH could get a grant like this to raise money


Block Watch groups face tight funding

By Sarah Anchors
The Arizona Republic
Jan. 8, 2003

Competition will likely be fierce this year for neighborhood crime-fighting groups wanting city money.

January is Block Watch month, the time when neighborhood groups try to convince Phoenix they need several thousand dollars to prevent crime.

For the past three years, about $1 million has been available for Neighborhood Block Watch Grants, but there will probably be less this year, grant supervisor Sharyn Zlotnick said.

The money comes from sales tax and state-shared revenue. Zlotnick said she would know by early February how much money will be handed out.

"For the last four years, our applications have been of high quality," Zlotnick said, making choosing between proposals difficult.

In 2002, 165 of 265 applicants received money, averaging about $5,000 to $6,000, she said. The grants aren't limited to Block Watch groups, but all applicant groups must be registered with the city.

Applications are due at 4 p.m. Feb. 7 to the Phoenix Police headquarters.

A 20-member oversight committee will review the grant proposals and send recommended applications to the city's Public Safety Subcommittee.

The subcommittee will make recommendations to the City Council, which approves the grants. Winning groups will receive the money in June.

Zlotnick's advice for neighborhood groups is to make it clear how the money will be spent and how the project prevents crime.

Helen Trujillo, president of the Garfield Organization Neighborhood Alliance, said last year's $9,400 grant paid for cellphone service for neighborhood patrollers, 25 students to go to an anti-drug use program, sports equipment for an after-school program and printing a neighborhood newsletter. Beyond the tangibles, it's important to form a close, motivated group and communicate with the city, she said.

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