U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott Announces Progress in Making Our Communities Safer Through Project Safe Neighborhoods
FBI Uniform Crime Report shows 3.9% drop in violent crime in 2018
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Two years ago, the Department of Justice announced the revitalization and enhancement of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the department’s violent crime reduction strategy.
Throughout the past two years, the United States Attorney’s Office has partnered with all levels of law enforcement, local organizations, and members of the community to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone by focusing on the most violent offenders. According to FBI’s Uniform Crime Report released in October, the nationwide violent crime rate decreased for the second consecutive year, down 3.9% from 2017.
“The revitalized Project Safe Neighborhoods program is a major success,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “It packs a powerful punch by combining advanced data with local leadership, further reducing violence in communities across the country and improving overall public safety. U.S. Attorneys continue to focus their enforcement efforts against the most violent criminals and work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal police. The Justice Department’s relationships across the board have never been stronger.”
In the Eastern District of California, indictments for firearms-related offenses in 2018 and 2019 are up 31% over the average for the previous 10 years. Approximately 1,600 guns were seized by ATF in 2018 and 2019. According to the FBI, firearms-related homicides fell 15%, and firearms‑related assaults fell 11%.
“Our office stands ready to work with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement to target the most violent criminals plaguing counties in our district,” stated U.S. Attorney Scott. “Our focus remains stemming the tide of illegal firearms flowing into our communities and prosecuting those who manufacture, distribute, and possess those weapons. Project Safe Neighborhoods is alive and well in the Eastern District of California.”
“ATF is dedicated to our mission of combating violent crime and protecting the public,” said Special Agent in Charge Ray Roundtree, San Francisco Field Division, ATF. “In the past year, ATF has worked to stand up crime gun intelligence focused groups across Northern California and Nevada. These teams provide data driven intelligence to open investigations on a local, regional and national level. That data is obtained through ATF’s Tracing Center and National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN). ATF has been working hand in hand with both prosecutors and our law enforcement partners. These crime gun intelligence focused groups have been successful in reducing violent crime, disrupting the shooting cycle and removing the sources of crime guns. Throughout 2019 ATF has seized over 1,600 guns in the Eastern District. Those are 1,600 crimes guns that are no longer on the street and a treat to the people who live in those communities.”
“The Project Safe Neighborhood initiative is built on the partnerships the FBI has with our region’s local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies,” said FBI Sacramento Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan. “When we combine forces, we are able to leverage our federal resources, hold criminals accountable for their crimes, and make significant steps in keeping our neighborhoods safe.”
“The U.S. Marshals Service is a key contributor to the PSN initiative, by bringing immediate relief to our communities with the execution of Operation Triple Beam and Operation Washout,” stated Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Lasha Boyden. “These two enforcement operations are USMS‑led collaborative counter-gang initiative that partners federal, local, and state law enforcement to focus on specific areas impacted by significant gang violence, while targeting the most violent gang members and organizations.”
“Transnational Street gangs are often involved in a myriad of criminal activity, including narcotics and weapons violations, murder, extortion, and human trafficking. These groups represent a serious threat to public safety in any community and are a challenge for law enforcement agencies throughout the United States,” said Tatum King, special agent in charge, HSI San Francisco and Northern California. “HSI and our law enforcement partners in the Eastern District of California continue to send a strong message to violent gang members that we will not tolerate their threats and intimidation to our communities.”
These enforcement actions and partnerships are part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime. To learn more about Project Safe Neighborhoods, go to www.justice.gov/psn.