Research & Development

The mission of the research and development division is to coordinate, develop and disseminate our grant, research, and evaluation data for the Lowell Police Department. Our mission is to chronicle ongoing progress, develop strategies based on the Superintendent's goals and objectives, and research evidence-based practices in policing. Here is a complete report of grant funding received since 2007. This report includes contributions to youth programs from both the Superior and Patrol Officer unions. 

Grant Activities

Since 2007, the Lowell Police Department (LPD) has received just over $37.3 million dollars in state, federal and private grant funding. These grants have been used for a myriad of projects including, but not limited to, youth violence prevention and intervention programs, justice and mental health collaborations, support for domestic violence victims, and substance use disorder prevention and intervention programs to name a few. The following information illustrates some of the major programs and funding allocations.

Shannon Community Safety Initiative:
The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security has awarded the Lowell Police Department the Shannon Community Safety Initiative since 2007. Over the last 14 years, the LPD received $7,994,511.29 in grant funding to implement a comprehensive anti-gang and youth violence strategy. In addition to using funds for proactive neighborhood patrols in hot spots, funding was subcontracted to a wide range of City entities and community partners, including Lowell Public Schools, the Parks and Recreation Department, MassHire of Lowell (formerly Career Center), UTEC, the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lowell, Lowell Community Health Center, Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association, West End Gym, and the YWCA. These community organizations provide a myriad of prevention and intervention activities. Funding is also utilized for portions of two Crime Analysts and the Program Manager, the Summer Student Police Academy and Summer Movie and Gaming Events.

Safe and Successful Youth Initiative:
The Executive Office of Health and Human Services has awarded the LPD $6,765,442.88 since 2011 for the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative. This comprehensive program strives to intervene in the lives of proven-risk young men who have committed violent crimes and/or are involved in gangs. The funding is partially used for the grant program manager to manage it; however, the majority of the funding is passed through to UTEC. The goal of this program is to provide these individuals with wraparound services designed
to prevent recidivism and thereby increasing overall community safety.

Justice and Mental Health Collaborations:
In October 2017, the LPD was awarded a Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Planning Grant from the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance. This funding was used to develop a justice and mental health collaboration program for the department. A key component of this grant was the LPD research partner from UMass Lowell’s Center for Community Research and Engagement. The LPD, along with UMass Lowell analyzed data and worked with community partners to develop a hybrid model of the collaboration. The LPD’s decision was based off evidence-based programs that have been proven effective. Superintendent Richardson along with other command staff members decided that a hybrid of the co-responder model paired with additional training would be the best fit of the department.

The LPD was awarded the Justice and Mental Health Implementation grant in October 2019 in the amount of $676,656. This funding is to implement the LPD Co-Responder Program. The program includes having mental health clinicians embedded in the police department to respond with LPD officers to mental health related calls. The LPD is partnering with Beth Israel Lahey Behavioral Health Services to hire clinicians. Additionally, the LPD has been working towards training at least 20% of sworn officers in Critical Incident Teams (CIT). CIT training is a full week, 40-hour course and the LPD currently has approximately 30 officers trained. The LPD is also working towards training 100% of sworn personnel in Mental Health First Aid training. For the past two years, cadets attending the Police Academy receive Mental Health First Aid training, which is a one-day, 8-hour course. The LPD is also partnering with UMass Lowell’s Center for Community Research and Engagement department as the research partner.

This grant supports funding for clinicians, UMass Lowell researchers for evaluation and portions of LPD civilian staff and transportation costs for clients over a 3 year period.

Substance Use Disorder Prevention and Intervention Programs:
Since October 2014, the LPD has received $2,167,440 in funding from the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance in addition to just over $200,000 from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to combat the opioid epidemic. The DPH funding was for both the Lowell Police and Fire Departments to purchase naloxone (Narcan) and related supplies. This includes three federal grants as detailed below.

Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program ($576,000): With funding, the Health Department hired a Substance Abuse Coordinator; the LPD is funding portions of a crime analyst and research analyst as well as overtime for opiate related investigations. We also have funding for supplies and we subcontract to UML as the research partner.

Smart Policing Initiative ($700,000): This funding supports two initiatives in the City to help combat the opiate crisis in the city; these include the Community Opioid Outreach Program (CO-OP) and Project CARE (Child Assessment Response Evaluation). The grant funds two part time clinicians in the Lowell Health Department, supports portions of a crime analyst, research analyst and overtime for home visits.

Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-based Program grant award in the amount of $900,000: This funding is to enhance and expand the CO-OP team by adding comprehensive components to the existing program. A Youth Services Coordinator will be added to focus on the needs of children affected by the opioid epidemic. The CO-OP team will also expand their service to the homeless community by serving as a liaison between agencies to improve communication and connect their various resources. Furthermore, the CO-OP team will
be expanding their role in responding to the opioid epidemic by conducting pro-active outreach to any individuals with substance use disorder before an overdose. This funding will also help support portions of salaries of LPD civilians and the Lowell Health Department Substance Abuse Coordinator. Additionally, the Health Department will be able to add a Youth Services Coordinator to the CO-OP Team. The LPD will continue to partner with Lowell House, Inc. to fund an outreach specialist and a clinical recovery specialist as well as UMass Lowell to evaluate the project. The grant will also fund transportation costs of clients, supplies for homeless clients as well as a small amount to cover the cost of getting identification cards for clients.

Domestic Violence Victim Support:
Since 2009, the LPD has received $1,985,000 in funding from the Department of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women to assist victims of domestic violence. This funding pays for the LPD Victim Advocate and Crime Analyst and in addition, the LPD partners with Alternative House in the most recent grants.