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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 5, 2014

U.S. Department Of Justice Awards Fresno Police Department A $500,000 Grant To Combat Gang Violence And Gun Crimes

FRESNO, Calif. — The Bureau of Justice Assistance, an agency of the United States Department of Justice, has announced a grant to the Fresno Police Department to fund Project Safe Neighborhoods, a violent gang and gun crime reduction program, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today.

“The Attorney General of the United States has directed this office and other federal law enforcement agencies to work together with our state and local partners to protect vulnerable communities from violent gangs and gun crimes through a multitrack approach," said U.S. Attorney Wagner. “That approach includes vigorous, proactive enforcement, but also engagement with communities to enhance prevention and stronger re-entry efforts to reduce recidivism. This grant will help do all of those things in the Calwa area of Fresno.”

Chief Dyer with the Fresno Police Department stated: "The PSN grant will further enable us to reduce violence in our neighborhoods and keep our community safer through strong partnerships with our federal, state and local criminal justice partners."

The grant will be used to fund the law enforcement personnel of the Multi Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium (M.A.G.E.C.) partners. The Fresno Police Department, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department and the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office will conduct investigations of gang-related violence using the intelligence information and the analysis of crime data. M.A.G.E.C. will refer violent crime cases to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

The grant will also cover the costs of a team of professors and graduate assistants from the California State University, Fresno’s Department of Criminology. They will analyze gun and gang crime and intelligence data to promptly identify emerging crime hot spots. They will use highly advanced computer mapping software and programs that produce simplified maps that can be used for effective decision making.

Due to County jail funding limitations, it is common for gun/gang offenders to be rapidly released from the local facility, at times after a few hours from arrest. Now, three beds in the Fresno County jail will be dedicated to PSN gun/gang offenders.

The grant will also support a public service announcement campaign, which will be launched in newspapers, television, radio, Internet, billboards and on public transportation.

Friends of Calwa- Nature & Nurture. Project funds will be used to fund program staff and the purchase of project related equipment for community beautification (such as shovels, paint, and brushes), youth stipends for enrolled participants, community engagement meetings, facility fees, trainers, field trips (camping trip; zoo), and other project expenses. The program will be conducted within Calwa target area in community centers, churches, schools, parks and affected gang neighborhoods.

The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) will be responsible for financial oversight of all grant related activities, and it will be managed by the Fresno Police Department Grants Management Unit.

Updated April 8, 2015