Project Safe Neighborhoods
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun and gang crime in America by networking existing local programs that target these issues and providing these programs with additional tools necessary to be successful. Project Safe Neighborhoods has operated as the U.S. Department of Justice’s primary initiative focused on the reduction of gun crime and gang-related violence since May of 2001.
Since its inception, approximately $2 billion has been committed to this initiative. This funding is being used to hire new federal and state prosecutors, support investigators, provide training, distribute gun lock safety kits, deter juvenile gun crime, and develop and promote community outreach efforts as well as to support other gun and gang violence reduction strategies.
Building upon successful proven programs of the past, such as Boston’s Ceasefire Project, Richmond’s Project Exile, and the Ten-City Strategic Approaches to Community Safety Initiative (SACSI), PSN is a nationwide, community-based effort that combines prevention and deterrence strategies with increased federal prosecution of serious offenders. When it was initiated, PSN focused on federal firearms offenders, and was expanded in 2006 to include violent street gangs. The current PSN strategy focuses on both the eradication of illegal firearms and the interdiction of violent gang activity.
There are five core components to the PSN strategy: strategic planning, partnerships, training, outreach and accountability. Initially, PSN was designed to increase partnerships among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies through the formation of a local gun crime enforcement task force. Additional partnerships were established with local governments, social service providers, and community groups to increase resources for prevention efforts, as well as to increase the legitimacy of law enforcement interventions.
The Eastern District of California is committed to PSN as part of its larger anti-violent crime strategy and is actively involved in task forces and prosecutions throughout the district.