East Boston’s Roca Operation Receives Boston Police Grant

A local nonprofit based in Chelsea, but does a lot of work with the immigrant population here in Eastie, recently received a grant from Boston Police Youth Development Fund.

Mayor Martin Walsh and Boston Police Commissioner William Gross announced that Roca, a agency that helps young men develop life, education, and employment skills to disrupt the cycle of poverty and incarceration was one of 20 organizations to share in the $500,000 of grant funding.

“In Boston, we work every day to make sure our young people are lifted up, and given every opportunity to succeed,” said Walsh. “That means through education, through development programs, and through having a safe, stable environment that will give them the resources and opportunities they need. The Boston Police are a major partner in this, and I’m proud that today we’re able to fund 20 great organizations that will make a lasting difference in the lives of Boston’s youth for years to come.”

ROCA was picked because it has long worked to provide development programs for Boston’s youth, ensuring they have access to programs that give them more opportunities to thrive and succeed.

“Roca is honored to partner with the Boston Police Department on a range of initiatives to help keep all young people in the City of Boston safe, stable, and successful,” said ROCA’s Director of Strategy and External Affairs Yotam Zeira. “As part of the Boston’s Police Youth Development Fund grant, Roca will continue to develop the organization’s work with Central American youth in East Boston, most of whom came here as unaccompanied minors. Roca’s work with this group is designed to reach out to young people, help them stay on track, prevent them from being involved in unhealthy behaviors, and help them build safe lives in the City.”

Under the leadership of Mayor Walsh, the Boston Police Department has prioritized community policing as an effective way to reduce crime, while building trust with the community. The Boston Police Department received national recognition from the Obama Administration in 2015 as being one of the top cities in the nation that is leading the way on community policing.

Earlier this year, Mayor Walsh announced the formation of the Bureau of Community Engagement at the Boston Police Department, which is charged with overseeing a citywide effort to further strengthen community policing in Boston, and focused on ways to build relationships and trust between law enforcement and residents, creating new and innovative partnerships, and promoting inclusion and diversity within the department. Commissioner Gross appointed Superintendent Nora Baston to serve as Bureau Chief for the Bureau.

“As Commissioner, my number one goal to ensure all residents in Boston are safe — and that includes Boston’s young people,” said Gross. “We have the biggest opportunity to change lives by providing resources and support to Boston’s youth, and through these programs, we are able to positively impact lives and create a better city for all.”

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