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Project Safe Neighborhood: Revitalized in 2021

Project Safe Neighborhoods

What is Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN)?

Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide initiative that brings together federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and community leaders to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in a community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.

Carlton S. Shier, IV, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and Lou Anna Red Corn, the Fayette Commonwealth’s Attorney, along with the Lexington Police Department (LPD), the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and other local, state and federal law enforcement partners work together for Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN). 

The working group, which met formally for the first time on January 18, 2018, meets twice a month. The new working group joins two existing violent crime reduction efforts, the Cease Fire Project and the Fayette County Violent Crime Task Force, under one working group, to enhance coordination of efforts and available resources. 

The collaboration is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s enhanced Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, a violent crime reduction program incorporating long-standing law enforcement partnerships to help produce a long-term, meaningful reduction in violent crime.  PSN is a comprehensive approach to public safety, one that includes prevention, enforcement, and reentry efforts.       

A major goal of PSN is to incorporate research and data analysis, and lessons learned from other violent crime reduction initiatives, to inform its decision-making on the most effective violence reduction strategies.

The working group focuses its efforts on individuals responsible for violent crimes and significant drug trafficking activities in the area, including those who commit acts of violence while armed with a firearm and those who commit armed drug trafficking.  As part of the collaborative partnership, members of the LPD, FCSO, ATF, FBI, DEA, and the other law enforcement partners meet regularly to share intelligence and to review cases about the most violent offenders in Lexington, including those cases in which the offender’s conduct involves possession or use of a firearm.  The cases are evaluated to insure that the most significant penalties will be applied to the offenders, whether in state or federal court.  The ultimate goal of the collaboration is to reduce violent crime and make Lexington neighborhoods safer for everyone.    

On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN so that it is built on newly articulated core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results of our efforts.  And the Department expressly underscores that the fundamental goal of this work is to reduce violent crime in the places we call home, not to increase the number of arrests or prosecutions as if they were ends in themselves.