United States Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton Announces Grant Award to Combat Gun and Gang Violence in Our Communities
Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that Hoyleton Youth and Family Services, acting as a fiscal agent for the Southern District of Illinois, is the recipient of a $150,000.00 grant from the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance.
“This award should enable police agencies, using Hoyleton Youth and Family Services as the fiscal agent, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Enforcement Group of Southwestern Illinois (MEGSI), to continue to produce a sustained reduction in the number of violent crimes in East St. Louis and in neighboring communities with a special emphasis on the ‘hot spots’ in federally-funded housing projects. Sadly, the police departments in the targeted areas are understaffed and cannot provide a sustained, effective, and overall deterrence to violent crime. My office’s efforts, along with this grant, will provide a targeted, focused and pro-active enforcement effort in these communities which will result in a better quality of life for all of the citizens of Southern Illinois,” noted United States Attorney Wigginton.
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), an initiative of the Department of Justice, is designed to create safer neighborhoods through a sustained reduction in crime associated with gang and gun violence. The program’s effectiveness is based upon the collaboration of federal, state, and local agencies engaged in a unified approach, led by the United States Attorney (in this District, Stephen R. Wigginton). The United States Attorney is charged with the responsibility of establishing a collaborative PSN Task Force of federal, state, and local law enforcement, as well as community members, to implement partnerships, strategic planning, training, outreach, and accountability in order to address specific gun and gang problems in the District.