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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Thursday - May 20, 2004

PROJECT SAFE NEIGHBORHOODS and
WAKE COUNTY WARRANT ENFORCEMENT

RALEIGH - At a news conference in Raleigh, N. C., on Thursday, May 20, 2004, Acting United States Attorney George E. B. Holding and United States Marshal Charles R. Reavis announced the completion of a three-day warrant enforcement initiative conducted throughout Wake County. This multi-agency collaborative effort, coordinated by the United States Marshals Service, included Deputy U. S. Marshals from Raleigh, Washington, D. C., and Atlanta, as well as 60 other state and local law enforcement officers.

The Wake County round-up is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), President Bush's national program to reduce gun violence. Beginning early Monday morning, May 17, and concluding at noon on Wednesday, May 19, nine federal, state, and local agencies worked together to execute outstanding warrants in the county. Charles R. Reavis, United States Marshal for the Eastern District of North Carolina, reported that 88 arrests were made during the three-day period. The arrest warrants had been issued for various violent offenses, including drugs, assault with a deadly weapon, illegal possession of a firearm, aggravated assault, probation violations, and weapons violations.

Project Safe Neighborhoods remains President Bush's Number Two National Priority behind Terrorism. This war against guns and gun violence has been referred to as the "War Against Domestic Terrorism." Nationally, in the past three years, federal gun prosecutions have increased by 68 percent. Here in the Eastern District of North Carolina, federal gun crime prosecutions are up 259 percent over the past three years. The goal throughout the Eastern District of North Carolina is to stop gun crimes, swiftly and effectively, through the team efforts of each Project Safe Neighborhoods site.

In 2001, the Raleigh Police Department, in conjunction with the Raleigh Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms formed a Project Safe Neighborhoods task force, which has been operating as "Project T.R.A.C." (Targeting Raleigh's Armed Criminals). Since that time, the task force has grown to include the Wake County Sheriff's Office and several local police departments. This task force has been working together diligently to reduce gun crime. PSN is a five-pronged, comprehensive program designed to address the individual issues of each locality as they relate to gun crimes and gun violence. The five essential elements are Partnerships, Strategic Planning, Training, Community Outreach, and Accountability. The PSN partnerships bring together federal, state, and local agencies to cooperate in a unified fight against gun crime.

Acting United States Attorney George E. B. Holding stated, "Through this week's warrant enforcement initiative, the Wake County partnership is delivering the message to criminals and the community that violence will not be tolerated and will be met with swift law enforcement action."

Under the leadership of the United States Marshals Service, other agencies participating in the Wake County round-up included the U. S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the North Carolina Division of Community Corrections, the Wake County Sheriff's Office, the Apex Police Department, the Cary Police Department, the Garner Police Department, and the Raleigh Police Department. Assistant U. S. Attorney Jane J. Jackson is the district's Project Safe Neighborhoods Coordinator. For more information on the President's program to reduce gun violence, please contact the U. S. Attorney's Office.



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