FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
WEDNESDAY - July 14, 2010
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY OFFICE
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA RECEIVES
ANNUAL PROJECT SAFE NEIGHBORHOODS ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
RALEIGH – United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in a ceremony hosted by Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary G. Grindler at the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) national conference in New Orleans, the United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of North Carolina were among 24 recipients of the annual PSN Achievement Awards. Recipients were chosen from a large pool of nominations submitted by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices across the nation.
“At its core, Project Safe Neighborhoods is built upon the commitment and personal integrity of individuals like those we honor today. This year’s awards celebrate and highlight the work that has been done that has truly made a difference,” said Acting Deputy Attorney General Grindler. “Led by our U.S. Attorneys, federal, state, tribal and local law enforcement and prosecutors are on the front lines on the streets of America every day. We thank you for your service, and honor your success.”
The Eastern District of North Carolina PSN Partnership Task Force received the Outstanding Overall Partnership/Task Force Award for its fight against gun and gang violence through a combination of aggressive enforcement, community support and positive new outlets for offenders. The positive work of the Task Force is seen in the overall decrease of violent crime within the District in the last several years. Since 2001, the District has prosecuted more than 2100 defendants federally as part of its response to violent crime. By 2006, Fayetteville had seen a decrease of 37 percent in gun-related crimes. Wilson and Rocky Mount also attributed a decrease in violent crime to the Task Force’s work. In Raleigh, during 2007 and 2008, robberies and violent crime spiked. By 2009, the murder rate dropped by more than half–from 32 murders in 2008 to 15 in 2009–and gang-related incidents dropped by nearly 50 percent during the same period.
The District sponsored outreach programs include the Hoops and Hopes Basketball Program targeting at-risk youth, the “Pledge Against Gun Violence” through which thousands of students have signed the pledge, bully prevention programs, and an outdoor summer movies series to engage the community and create public awareness about gun violence.
“We are proud of the dedicated work of each of the task force members and encouraged by the results thus far of this work,” stated Mr. Holding. “We will remain focused on the areas of aggressive enforcement, community support and positive new outlets to continue to drive violent crime into non-existence.”