GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The United States Department of Justice has awarded several grants as part of its Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Violent Crime, Mark Totten, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, said.

“We were at a moment where we’re seeing an uptick in violent crime, and we want to do everything we can to help address that,” Totten said. “We’ve especially seen a number of violent crimes (that) have been committed with guns. Right now, over the past few years, the number one killer among our youngest Americans, ages 1 through 19, has become firearms.”

In West Michigan, the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi was awarded $688,511 ($521,675 for hiring and $166,836 for equipment and training), the city of Portage was awarded $1 million, the city of White Cloud was awarded $125,000, Godfrey Lee Public School was awarded $500,000 and the Michigan Department of State Police was awarded $200,000.

“Their grants really cover a number of different purposes,” Totten said. “We have a couple of places here in West Michigan that are receiving grants to help with hiring. The city of Portage, the city of White Cloud both received significant funds to help hire a number of new officers who are going to be focused on community-oriented policing.”

“Law enforcement officers across the country are showing up every day to protect their communities in the face of unprecedented challenges,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said in a release. “These grants, which support the hiring of more than 1,700 new officers and make critical investments in school safety and crisis intervention efforts, will help provide local law enforcement agencies with the resources they need to keep their communities safe, support officers, and build public trust.”

— News 8’s Taylor Morris contributed to this report.