New Orleans, St. Louis, and Milwaukee Join Justice Department's Violence Reduction Network
Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates and Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) today announced that New Orleans, Louisiana, St. Louis, Missouri, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will join 10 existing sites which have adopted crime-fighting strategies as part of the Violence Reduction Network (VRN). The initiative is a comprehensive approach to reducing violent crime that complements the Attorney General’s Smart on Crime Initiative and leverages existing Justice Department resources in communities around the country.
“It has been only a year-and-a-half since we launched the first Violence Reduction Network,” said Deputy Attorney General Yates. “In just that short period of time, the partnerships we have built through VRN have helped to reduce crime rates. These results could only have happened through the kind of creative collaboration promoted through the VRN.”
Today’s announcement was made before an audience of U.S. Attorneys, police chiefs, local leaders from the new and existing VRN sites and department officials. Through VRN, the Justice Department enlists tactical and operational expertise available from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the United States Marshals Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Executive Office of the United States Attorneys, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and the Office on Violence Against Women.
In addition to the announcement about the three new VRN sites, the Deputy Attorney General also announced the Police-Prosecutor Partnership, which is soliciting proposals to encourage out-of-the-box collaborations between law enforcement agencies and prosecutors’ offices. This grant solicitation encourages proposals that build on evidence-based crime-fighting models – focusing on reducing violence, sharing intelligence, and engaging the community –by merging and maximizing the expertise of law enforcement officers and prosecutors. The new solicitation is posted at www.bja.gov/funding.aspx.
In 2014, VRN was launched in Camden, Chicago, Detroit, Wilmington, and Oakland and Richmond, California. In September 2015, VRN was expanded to Compton, California; Flint, Michigan; Little Rock and West Memphis, Arkansas; and Newark, New Jersey.
VRN’s core components include customized training and technical assistance; a strategic site liaison to guide the coordination of Justice Department resources; tools to enhance information sharing, including peer-to-peer exchanges; community practice collaboration among existing sites and an annual summit in September.