A grant program is established under the administration of the commissioner of public safety to assist local communities in their efforts to eradicate violent crime, illegal drug activity, and illegal gang activity in targeted neighborhoods, and to revitalize these targeted neighborhoods economically and physically.
The commissioner of public safety shall act as fiscal agent for the grant program and shall be responsible for receiving applications for grants and awarding grants under this section. Before any grants are awarded, a committee consisting of the attorney general, and representatives from the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, the Minnesota Sheriffs Association, and the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, shall evaluate the grant applications. Before grants are awarded, the commissioner shall meet and consult with the committee concerning its evaluation of and recommendations on grant proposals. At least 50 percent of the grants awarded under this section must be awarded to the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
(a) A city may apply for a grant under this section by submitting an application to the commissioner of public safety on a form prescribed by the commissioner. The application shall:
(1) identify the neighborhood within the city that has been proposed by the city's mayor as a targeted site;
(2) describe the problems to be corrected within the targeted neighborhood and the strengths that make the targeted neighborhood a suitable candidate for funding; and
(3) contain the city's plan for use of the grant funds. This plan must:
(i) be prepared in consultation with residents of the targeted neighborhood;
(ii) describe the specific law enforcement, community policing, prevention, intervention, treatment, and neighborhood revitalization activities that the city intends to undertake; and
(iii) include a reporting and evaluation component.
(b) A city may apply for more than one grant under this section; however, each grant may target only one neighborhood.
(a) The attorney general may assist cities and local law enforcement officials in developing and implementing anticrime and neighborhood community revitalization strategies and may assist local prosecutors in prosecuting crimes occurring in the targeted neighborhoods that receive funding under this section. Upon request of the local prosecuting authority, the attorney general may appear in court in those civil and criminal cases arising as a result of this section that the attorney general deems appropriate. For the purposes of this section, the attorney general may appear in court in nuisance actions under chapter 617, and misdemeanor prosecutions under chapter 609.
(b) The attorney general may assist cities in developing appropriate applications to the United States Department of Justice for federal weed and seed grants for use in conjunction with grants awarded under this section.