Fayetteville Police Department headquarters in downtown Fayetteville. Ben Sessoms / Wmforo

Fayetteville officials Monday night unveiled the scoring criteria for applicants to a grant program that they hope will decrease crime in the community.

As Wmforo previously reported, the city’s Community Safety Microgrant program, for which the City Council approved $250,000 in funding last fall, elicits ideas from the community for addressing crime. The program launched last week.

Earlier this year, the Fayetteville Police Department released crime data from 2021, showing that violent crime had increased in the city as part of a national trend.

At a meeting last month regarding the program, Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins said that the microgrant program was inspired by a similar one in Charlotte.

“We all understand crime is a big problem to deal with,” Hawkins said. “A lot of different issues.”

While the program is open-ended, the police chief presented several examples to the City Council of what could come from the program.

These examples included conflict resolution, opportunities for youths, family stability and ways to address implicit bias, among others.

These are just examples, though, Hawkins emphasized. Applicants to the program can implement any idea through the program’s funding as long as they can show it will address crime and meet the program’s scoring standard.

“This is a community initiative,” Hawkins said. “They have the idea. They have the game plan. They have a program, and they grow this.”

Once an applicant submits an idea, a panel will evaluate the submission and render a score with a maximum of 100 points.

Four elements will be considered in the scoring process — inclusivity, collaboration, resourcefulness and innovation.

“Scoring is a pretty time-intensive process based on the number of applications we get,” said Chris Cauley, Fayetteville’s economic and community development director.

The ZIP codes 28314, 28305, 28303 and 28301 will also receive priority, receiving bonus points.

The panel that determines the score is made up of one representative each from the Fayetteville Redevelopment Commission, the Citizen Police Advisory Board, the Human Relations Commission, the city’s mental health sector and someone within the public school system.

“We are giving direction to not choose one entity to decide who will get the awards,” said council member Shakeyla Ingram. “We are compiling a community-based board or advisory committee to be able to decide who will get (the funding).”

Mayor Mitch Colvin said the program allows various community stakeholders to get involved in reducing crime.

“There are a lot of partners that played a role in this process,” he said. “Everybody is needed at the table in order for this to be successful.”

Who can apply for program

Any nonprofit organization with an operating budget of less than $100,000 can apply for the program. For-profit entities cannot participate.

Individuals can apply as well. Cauley said the program is designed for anyone of any educational level to apply.

He said anyone can call the city’s Economic Development Department at 910-433-1590 to get help with the application process.

More information for applicants is available at fayettevillenc.gov/microgrant.

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Ben Sessoms is a former Wmforo reporter. To reach the Wmforo newsroom, email [email protected].

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