U.S. Attorney Hosted Gang Prevention Summit
BOSTON – On Sept. 16, 2013, the United States Attorney’s Office hosted nearly 500 law enforcement and community professionals from around New England at its Annual Gang Prevention Summit in Marlborough. This year’s summit, sponsored by the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program, focused on coalescing best practices that can be utilized throughout Massachusetts.
The summit began at 9:00 a.m. with opening remarks by U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan. The afternoon session was highlighted with the keynote address by Colonel Timothy P. Alben, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police. Col. Alben discussed the challenges facing law enforcement today, citing the Marathon bombing case and the state drug lab scandal.
Participants had the opportunity to learn from experts in the public and non-profit sectors about prevention and intervention involving youth in gangs, innovative community policing initiatives, and lessons learned from established prison re-entry programs. The diverse range of participants included local law enforcement, prosecutors, social workers, medical professionals, educators, faith-based partners and residents. The purpose of the summit was to form and strengthen working partnerships among stakeholders as well as to provide relevant training.
“Bringing together a varied group of professionals to work collaboratively to prevent violence in our communities, especially gun and gang violence, is critically important,” said U.S. Attorney Ortiz. “By continually educating ourselves and implementing proven, innovative approaches tailored to meet the challenges of individual communities, we will achieve greater progress in safeguarding security for all.”
The Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative was launched in 2001 by the Department of Justice to reduce gun and gang crime in America. Spearheaded by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, PSN operates as a comprehensive, coordinated and community-based approach that promotes prevention and deterrence efforts. The five foundation principles of PSN are to create working partnerships, plan strategically, provide up-to-date training, further community outreach, and to be accountable for outcomes.