Great Lakes Bay Region’s “Bridge The Gap” Receives $1 Million in State Funding

Since starting as a basketball program with police officers and community youth in 2015, Bridge The Gap has become a large part of law enforcement outreach in the Great Lakes Bay Region. In collaboration with Saginaw, Bay City, and Midland agencies, the organization allows officers to interact with the youth of the community through various events and activities.

Wednesday afternoon, Bridge The Gap announced that they are receiving a $1 million allocation from this year’s state budget. The announcement was made by Representative Amos O’Neal, who had worked to acquire the funding for the organization.

Bridge The Gap Board Member Ayiteh Sowah applauded the collaboration with law enforcement, saying, “This collaboration; It takes the officers and their leaders to step outside of their comfort zone to build these better relations between law enforcement and the community. And again, this cannot be done without them.”

Recently, the organization began funding the education of future officers. With help from partner agencies, they are even able to pay some cadets a salary while they work their way through the police academy.

Sowah says that even though the organization has been requested to branch out to different cities around Michigan, they wish to make the most of their impact in the Great Lakes Bay Region before expanding.