State Senator Dawson Hodgson, the Republican candidate for Attorney General, issued the following statement today in support of the advocacy of the NAACP Providence Branch on reducing violence in Rhode Island communities in the wake of last weeks multiple shooting in the Chad Brown neighborhood:
"I applaud the NAACP and all community leaders who will bring urgency and resolve to reducing violence on our streets" said Sen. Hodgson.
"This was my mission as a state prosecutor, as a member of Senate Youth Violence Task Force, and will continue to be my mission as our next Attorney General. In particular, I have given my commitment to the NAACP and the community to deploy needed funds from the US Attorney's Google Settlement to this complex set of issues."
This commitment is a cornerstone of the action plan Hodgson released in February for allocating "Google Settlement" funds to pressing justice and safety needs in Rhode Island.
Specifically, the Hodgson plan allocates needed resources to non-violence education, providing skills training and re-entry programming to reduce recidivism and stop the cycles of behavior that wreak havoc on all the lives around them.
In addition this investment in non-violence, Hodgson's action plan also calls for a grant to Providence Police Department for gang enforcement and violence reduction efforts.
The "Google Settlement" is a $60 Million windfall given to the RI Attorney General by the US Attorney in April 2012. Apart from expanding his office space, the current Attorney General Peter Kilmartin has released no plan for putting the funds to work.
Beyond the violence reduction measures described above, Hodgson's plan also calls for providing NARCAN training and doses to first responders, professional training for law enforcement, clearing excessive backlogs at our state crime lab and toxicology labs that put Rhode Islanders at risk. The complete plan may be viewed at www.DawsonHodgson.com.