SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield neighborhood leaders are celebrating an influx of state funding for the C-3 program, that fosters closer ties between police and neighborhood residents, and helps young people make the right choices.

New North Citizens council President and CEO Jose Claudio personally thanked State Senator Jim Welch for helping secure $50,000 from the state legislature for the North End C-3 program. Money they’ll share with C-3 programs throughout the city to foster ties between police and neighbors, helping direct young people away from gangs and help reduce crime.

State Senator Jim Welsh told 22News, “Here in the North End, where the initiative started and it’s gotten great results. It’s a great community effort. Great organizers, Jose Claudio has worked so hard over the years to make it work.”

“We’d like to say thanks and show gratitude especially to Senator Welch. He did work tirelessly to make this happen for the City of Springfield,” said State Rep. Jose Tosado.

The C-3 program adopted in Springfield a number of years ago, is specifically designed to build trust between police and people who live in the neighborhoods, particularly young people.

It’s successes are hailed not just in the North End, where C-3 policing began, but in other member neighborhood including the South End, Mason Square and Forest Park. It’s current focus is on anti-gang and community policing programs.