The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) awarded the University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu $533,285 for its efforts to address targeted violence and threat prevention. The award is part of the Department’s grant program that works to help prevent incidents of domestic violent extremism, as well as to bolster efforts to counter online radicalization and mobilization to violence.
DHS announced on Sept. 15 the awarding of 43 grants totaling $20 million under the Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP) Grant Program for Fiscal Year 2022, according to a press release.
“Working in partnership with one another is how we best prevent acts of terrorism and targeted violence,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said in the release. “Through the grant awards we are announcing today, we are equipping local communities and organizations — including those historically underserved — with needed resources so they can become more effective partners, strengthen our security, and help the American people feel safe and secure in our daily lives.”
UH West O‘ahu has received a two-year total of more than $1.3 million from the TVTP Grant Program. This year’s award follows UH West O‘ahu’s TVTP grant award of $780,671 received last year for its efforts to create threat assessment and management teams, and bystander training.
“The newly awarded TVTP grant funds will further Hawai‘i efforts to build state capacity, engage and train members of our community, and help to build a bystander intervention program that works for our community,” said Bev Baligad, principal investigator of the UH West O‘ahu grant.
Baligad is UH West O‘ahu’s Director of Compliance and Chair of UH West O‘ahu’s Behavior Intervention Team (BIT), considered a leader within the state for implementing and utilizing national best practices in the field of threat assessment.
Baligad continued, “UH West O‘ahu continues to be heavily involved in the state’s strategy to address targeted violence and threat prevention, and we are excited to work closely with our community members to build awareness that will help keep our ‘ohana safe.”
According to a description on the TVTP Grant Program webpage, UH West O‘ahu intends to create opportunities to further enhance and strengthen local threat assessment and management capabilities within the state of Hawai‘i.
Those opportunities include creating free accessible training; collaborating with an established community-based partner whose mission is to address violence, abuse, and trauma; and creating and mobilizing a bystander intervention awareness program that encourages safe options for reporting for the local community.
The DHS press release states that the TVTP Grant Program provides funding for state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, nonprofits, and institutions of higher education with funds to establish or enhance capabilities to prevent targeted violence and terrorism.
The program is administered by the DHS Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships (CP3) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and is the only federal grant program solely dedicated to helping local communities improve and strengthen their capabilities in this area.
Launched in 2020, the TVTP Grant Program supports the efforts of 88 organizations working to prevent violence in 32 states with $50 million in awards.
Click here for more information about UH West O‘ahu’s grant award and for a full list of grant awards.