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GROUP GIVEN $20,000 FOR ITS CRIME-FIGHTING

The West Side Community Collaborative has been awarded $20,000 from the MetLife Foundation Community-Police Partnership for its achievements in reversing crime trends and helping to revitalize Buffalo's West Side neighborhood.

The award recognizes partnerships between community development groups and police departments that have reduced crime and spurred housing development, economic activity, and improved community services in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.

The competitive award is sponsored by MetLife and administered by the Community Safety Initiative of Local Initiatives Support Corp.

The West Side group was selected from 200 applicants because of its efforts that helped contribute to a 60 percent drop in crime reported, compared with a 6 percent drop citywide. Property values have gone from $2,000 to $70,000 in the neighborhood, and homeownership has increased from 50 percent to 90 percent, officials said.

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