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VCU gets nearly $1 million to study Richmond gun violence

April 16, 2022 GMT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Commonwealth University has received nearly $1 million in federal funds to study gun violence in Richmond as the city experiences an increase in the number of homicides.

The money comes from the Omnibus Appropriations Agreement for the 2022 fiscal year approved by Congress last week, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.

VCU’s project, the RVA Gun Violence Prevention Framework, aims to create a public health response to addressing the social, economic and systemic factors that lead to gun violence. The project is led by school representatives, VCU Health and the city of Richmond.

Last year, Mayor Levar Stoney called gun violence a public health crisis, and the city allocated $133,000 toward the initiative.

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There were 101 slayings in the city last year, the most since 2004. Most involved guns. Richmond police classified 93 of the killings as homicides.

In addition to intentional gun deaths, VCU Health reported last summer that it had seen a surprisingly high number of gun accidents.

VCU also received $400,000 for a program seeking to support recruitment and training efforts of early childhood educators across central Virginia.