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Project Safe Neighborhoods

Project Safe Neighborhoods

What is Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN)?

Launched in 2001, Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) remains the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s efforts to combat violent crime.  PSN is a nationwide initiative that brings together federal, state, and local law enforcement officials, prosecutors, community leaders, and other stakeholders to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  PSN is coordinated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in each federal judicial district and is customized to account for local violent crime problems and resources. 

In May 2021, the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General announced the Department of Justice’s “Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Violent Crime,” which directed a reassessment of efforts to address gun violence and violent crime in our communities and outlined the principles that should guide all activity to reduce violent crime, including PSN. 

Specifically, the Department’s efforts to combat violent crime must now focus on newly articulated core principles: (1) fostering trust and legitimacy in the communities we serve; (2) investing in community-based prevention and intervention strategies; (3) setting strategic enforcement priorities; and (4) measuring the results of our efforts.  Critically, this new policy underscores the Department’s focus on the fundamental goal of reducing violent crime, not merely increasing the number of arrests or prosecutions.  The goal of this effort is to be targeted and to focus on the sources of violent crime; it is not to treat the number of arrests as an end unto itself.

How does PSN Operate in the Eastern District of Kentucky?

In the Eastern District of Kentucky, the United States Attorney’s Office, collaborates with countless federal, state, and local law enforcement partners.  Our federal partners include the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States Marshals Service (USMS), and other federal agencies.  Our state and local partners include the Kentucky State Police, as well as Kentucky Sheriffs’ Offices, local Police Departments, City and County government agencies, Kentucky County Attorneys, Kentucky Commonwealth’s Attorneys, and other community stakeholders and agencies. 

The United States Attorney’s Office has designated an AUSA to serve as its PSN Coordinator and to focuses on the PSN initiative, its coordination, and its comprehensive strategy.  Additionally, because local communities have different violent crime issues – and a one-size-fits-all strategy would not reflect the goals of community coordination and customization – each staffed office has an AUSA who focuses on PSN matters and coordinates with its local law enforcement partners to develop effective local strategies.

In each office, the PSN AUSAs work with the local partners to target individuals responsible for violent crimes and significant drug trafficking activities, engage community partners, and invest in community-based prevention and intervention strategies.  These local collaborations meet frequently to discuss issues, develop strategies, evaluate cases for prosecution (including the most appropriate jurisdiction), and focus on the goal targeting the sources and reducing violent crime.