Department of Justice SealDepartment of Justice
Monday, November 10, 2008
(202) 514-2007
TDD (202) 514-1888

Fact Sheet: Supporting State and Local Law Enforcement Accomplishments 2001 – 2008

“We are a country built on the rule of law, and our Nation is grateful to the men and women who enforce those laws and uphold the fairness and peace we treasure.” -- President George W. Bush

For the last eight years, the Department of Justice has provided innovative leadership to federal, state, local and tribal justice systems, disseminating state-of-the-art knowledge and practices, and providing grants for their implementation. The Department has supported law enforcement agencies at all levels as they adapt to new challenges in public safety, including threats to the homeland posed by terrorists and transnational crimes such as human trafficking and cybercrimes. The Department’s leadership and support in areas such as information sharing, DNA and forensics, and intelligence-led policing are preparing law enforcement to meet the demands of a global enforcement community. By promoting these state and local partnerships, the Department ensures that everyone works together towards a common goal: reducing crime and supporting programs that enrich communities and protect citizens.

Combating Terrorism

Since September 11, 2001, there have been no successful terrorist attacks launched within the United States thanks largely to the work of law enforcement at all levels. The Department recognizes that one of the most efficient and effective means of fighting terrorism is to communicate, coordinate, cooperate and strengthen our partnerships with state, local and tribal governments to ensure the safety of all Americans.

State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training (SLATT) Program

Enhancing Justice Information Sharing

Communications Technology (CommTech)

The Department’s CommTech initiative assists law enforcement agencies in communicating across agency and jurisdictional boundaries. In partnership with other federal agencies and associations, CommTech focuses on many aspects of first responder communications operability and interoperability. Through the Department’s National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) system, the Department actively responds to communications technology assistance requests from public safety officials across the country. 

The Department has supported advance planning and emergency response for major events and disasters, including interoperability assistance for the 2001 and 2005 Presidential Inaugurations, hurricane response, and the trial of September 11th conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui. 

The Department assisted the U.S. Park Police and more than 30 law enforcement agencies and 600 officers at the 2004 dedication of the World War II Memorial on the National Mall which attracted more than 40,000 people. 

In 2007, the Department’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ) provided $3.6 million for the creation of a Communications Technologies Center of Excellence to provide a means for testing, evaluating and demonstrating communications tools and technologies.  The Center is establishing and managing a law enforcement wireless pilot project, supporting a communications technology working group, and providing specialized communications technology assistance to law enforcement when needed.

Keeping Neighborhoods Safe from Gun, Gang, and Violent Crimes

Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN)

Established in 2001, PSN is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in America by building on existing local programs that target gun crime and providing these programs with additional tools necessary to be successful. In 2006, the Attorney General expanded PSN to target gang crime as well.

Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative (CAGI)

In May 2006, the Attorney General launched the CAGI, which focuses on reducing gang activity through coordinated prevention, enforcement and reentry efforts in targeted sites across the country.

Targeting Violent Crime Initiative (TVCI)

Weed and Seed

The Weed and Seed strategy is a community-based collaborative approach to law enforcement, crime prevention, and community revitalization. Weed and Seed provides a platform for Administration priorities including PSN, ex-offender reentry initiatives, drug control, the Anti-Gang Initiative, White House Faith-based initiative, Public Housing Safety initiative and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA).

Combating Human Trafficking

Under the leadership of President Bush, the Administration has taken unprecedented efforts to combat the scourge of human trafficking.  The Justice Department, along with federal, state and local partners, plays a key role in battling this deeply troubling, violent and often hidden crime. These efforts include:    

Protecting Communities from Dangerous Sex Offenders

Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program

An integral component of the Department’s Project Safe Childhood initiative, the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force program supports law enforcement’s efforts to prevent, investigate, and stop computer-facilitated child sexual exploitation. The Task Forces have become regional centers of technical and investigative expertise offering both prevention and investigative services to youth, parents, educators, law enforcement, and others working on child sexual exploitation issues.

National Sex Offender Public Registry

In 2005, the Department developed the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Web site,, a national search site that provides real-time access to public state and territory sex offender registries utilizing a single interface.

Sex Offender Registration and Notification

Protecting children from all forms of crime is an essential mission for the Administration. On July 27, 2006, the President signed into law the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act which created the Department’s Office of Sex Offender Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART). The SMART Office is responsible for carrying out Title I of the Adam Walsh Act, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). These provisions significantly enhance the ability of state, local and tribal governments to respond to crimes against children and vulnerable adults and prevent sex offenders who have been released back into the community from victimizing other people.

Child Sexual Predator Program

In 2008 the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) awarded $9.9 million in grants to support partnerships between state or local government agencies and their district United States Attorney's Office that focus on reducing child endangerment. The funds were awarded to 23 state and local agencies under the Child Sexual Predator Program and will help officials locate, arrest, and prosecute child sexual predators, and enforce state sex offender registration laws.

Protecting Children from Abduction


The AMBER Alert system is an essential tool law enforcement officers have to help recover missing children. In 2001 only four states had AMBER Alert plans in place. Today, all 50 states have statewide AMBER Alert plans, creating a network of systems nationwide to aid in the recovery of abducted children.

Supporting Public Safety Officers

Volunteers in Police Service Program (VIPS)

Launched in 2002, VIPS enhances the capacity of state and local law enforcement to utilize volunteers. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) manages the VIPS Program in partnership with and on behalf of, the White House Office of the USA Freedom Corps and OJP. Volunteers for law enforcement agencies provide support to sworn and civilian employees, allowing paid staff to concentrate on law enforcement and homeland security functions. Since its inception, the program has created a wide range of Web, print and electronic resources for volunteers, volunteer program managers or those seeking to establish a volunteer program.

Body Armor Safety Initiative

In November 2003, the Attorney General announced the Body Armor Safety Initiative in response to concern from the law enforcement community about the effectiveness of body armor then in use.

Less-Lethal Technologies

NIJ has awarded $16.4 million in grants between fiscal years 2001 – 2008 to several research entities to study a broad range of less lethal weapons issues and to develop new technologies.  The goal of the NIJ's less-lethal program is to provide law enforcement and corrections officers with equipment that protects them and the public, reducing the possibility of injury or death.

Medal of Valor

Public safety officers risk their lives each day to protect American citizens and communities. To honor that commitment, the President signed into law the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Act of 2001, which created the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor. The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor is the highest national award for a public safety officer and is awarded by the President.

Each year, the Department received hundreds of applications from public safety agencies, including law enforcement, fire and emergency services and federal agencies. Since the program’s inception, 41 medals have been awarded nationwide.

Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Program

The PSOB program provides death benefits in the form of a one-time financial payment to eligible survivors of public safety officer whose deaths are the direct and proximate result of personal injury sustained in the line of duty. The program also provided benefits to public safety officers who are permanently and totally disabled because of injuries sustained in the line of duty. The foundation of the PSOB Program is that the Justice Department and public safety agencies throughout the country are prepared to help the loved ones of fallen officers move forward in the aftermath of tragedies.

Reducing Crime in Indian Country and Supporting Tribal Law Enforcement

Over the last eight years, the administration has performed unprecedented and groundbreaking initiatives in fighting crime and supporting law enforcement in Indian Country. Some of these initiatives include:

Advancing Justice through DNA Technology

The Department has strongly supported programs at the federal, state and local level that make DNA technology more accessible to law enforcement at all levels in solving crimes. Some of these programs include: