FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC at 410-209-4885
MAY 2, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LOCAL TEAM MEETS WITH ATTORNEY GENERAL ALBERTO R. GONZALES,
ENHANCES STRATEGIES TO COMBAT GUN CRIME AND GANG VIOLENCE
Representatives from Local Police Departments, State’s Attorney’s Offices, United States Attorney’s Office, and ATF, including RAGE Task Force Members, Attend the Conference
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales this week brought together over 1,300 federal, state and local prosecutors, law enforcement officials, community leaders and other members of the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) teams from across the nation to discuss efforts to reduce and prosecute gun crime, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Sixteen local representatives from the Baltimore City Police Department, Baltimore County Police Department, Prince George’s County Police Department, Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office, United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland and ATF, including RAGE Task Force members, participated in the fourth PSN national conference in Denver, sharing successful strategies for combating gun crime and gang violence. The Bush Administration has devoted more than $1.6 billion to PSN since 2001, including nearly $40 million that will be distributed to local task forces this year.
“Project Safe Neighborhoods is a street-level partnership that helps local leaders solve local problems,” said Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. “Through this program, law enforcement at every level supports innovative strategies to combat gun crime and gang violence in communities across America.”
The conference centers on PSN’s many successes in fighting gun crime since the initiative was announced by President Bush in 2001, and on using PSN’s partnerships and successful strategies to combat the problem of gang violence.
Drawing on the principles of the nationwide Project Safe Neighborhoods program, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland has implemented Maryland EXILE, a unified and comprehensive strategy to combat gun crime that combines law enforcement efforts, community action and revitalization, and public awareness. The success of this strategy depends on a partnership – a true team effort – among local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, and on the dedication and determination of community activists, educators, and civic and faith-based organizations.
“Criminal gangs that commit violent crimes and deal drugs represent a significant threat to the safety and security of Maryland residents,” remarked District of Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “In addition to coordinating efforts by federal, state and local law enforcement efforts to prosecute criminal gang members, it is critical that we share information and strategies with educators, community organizers, religious leaders, parents and other people who are in position to help prevent gangs from recruiting new members.”
Because combating gang-violence can only be done by working in partnership with state and local law enforcement and community organizations, the Attorney General directed each U.S. Attorney to convene a Gang Prevention Summit in his or her district designed to explore additional opportunities in the area of gang prevention. These summits are to be held in the next eight months and will bring together law enforcement and community leaders to discuss best practices, identify gaps in services, and create a prevention plan to target at-risk youth within their individual communities.
“The Maryland Gang Summit: Combating Gangs & Violent Crime in Maryland” will be held on June 1, 2006 at the Sheraton Hotel in Columbia, Maryland. The Maryland summit is co-sponsored by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland, the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention and the Maryland Crime Prevention Association.
Featured speakers will include Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. and United States Senator Barbara A. Mikulski. The Maryland gang summit will provide a comprehensive analysis of gangs in Maryland. The summit will begin with a report from the Maryland Gang Task Force, providing an overview of our state’s gang problem. Participants then will assemble in regional groups to discuss local gang problems and solutions. Workshop sessions highlighting national and local models for gang enforcement, intervention and prevention also will be conducted.
The Department of Justice has provided $2 million to the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland to combat gang violence throughout the state and an additional $2 million has been allocated to support enforcement and prevention efforts to combat violent gangs in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. The Department of Justice has also released nearly $30 million in grant assistance to support state and local anti-gang efforts of PSN task forces across the country and will award $10 million to support PSN efforts to fight gun crime that is not necessarily gang-related.
PSN conference training topics range from enforcement strategies to remove violent gang members and gun criminals from the streets, to school violence prevention programs, and building community partnerships. The strength of PSN continues to be its strategic mix of federal, state and local agencies and community leaders focused on law enforcement and crime prevention. Prosecutors pursue the strongest possible punishment for those who violate firearms statutes, while community partners aggressively educate their constituents about consequence of illegal gun violence and gang activity through services and resources provided by PSN.
For more information, please visit the PSN website at www.psn.gov.
This page last modifiedMay 4, 2006