Moreno Valley -

The city of Moreno Valley got a $500,000 federal grant to target gang activity, the city announced.

The U.S Department of Justice funds will be used for the city's School Resource Officer Program, said Acting Assistant City Manager Michelle Dawson. A portion of the funds will pay for a resource officer to work at Rancho Verde High School to prevent crime on campus and identify gang activity in the city's south end, Dawson said.

Gang-on-gang violence has increased in the past six months, so the City Council added three officers to the Moreno Valley Police Department's Special Enforcement Team, she said. That team targets gang members, drug dealers and career criminals.

Mayor Bonnie Flickinger thanked Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., for helping the city obtain the grant. "We are so appreciative of Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack and her staff for helping us and supporting the City Council's commitment to keeping public safety our number one priority," Flickinger said. "Moreno Valley has had great success with our gang prevention programs and these funds will assist us in enhancing these efforts."

Bono Mack's office notified the city on Friday that it will also receive $110,000 for code enforcement through a second federal grant. The city will use those funds to continue its Graffiti Tracker program and add part-time staff to its Code and Neighborhood Services Division, Dawson said.