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Project Safe Neighborhoods

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Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a targeted program currently implemented in the Eastern District of Michigan that is designed to reduce gang- and group-related gun and violent crime in statistically-selected neighborhoods. Our PSN team incorporates the five PSN pillars of leadership, partnerships, targeted and prioritized enforcement, prevention, and accountability. Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, PSN reflects the committed leadership of the Detroit Police Department, Michigan Department of Corrections, Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, numerous local, state, and federal law enforcement partners, as well as community, neighborhood development and social services partners.  These partnerships allow PSN to develop comprehensive strategies that range from targeted enforcement, intervention, prevention, and neighborhood revitalization. For example, student analysts from Michigan State University are employed by PSN, who conduct hotspot analysis and regular program assessment to ensure program efficacy.

More specifically, the targeted and prioritized enforcement follows an intelligence- and data-driven approach that continually focuses on patterns of serious gun crime to inform strategic and tactical PSN responses.  Following PSN’s success in reducing gun crime on Detroit’s west side, the PSN team decided to focus on Detroit’s 9th Precinct, (eastside) as the targeted enforcement area beginning in 2019.  This was based on the precinct having the highest levels of fatal and non-fatal shootings in the city; within the precinct, crime analysis was used to identify specific gun crime hotspots to focus PSN efforts.  This initial focus is routinely updated through advanced analytical techniques including mapping, Risk Terrain Modeling, and integrating information about high-risk individuals, gangs, and groups.

PSN also works in tandem with other anti-gang and crime-focused initiatives. PSN contributed directly to the development of a Firearm Investigation Tracking (FIT) gun case referral system where local and federal prosecutors screen cases to determine the most appropriate jurisdiction for prosecution. PSN also operates closely with Ceasefire Detroit, a focused deterrence strategy that identifies risk factors and causes of reoccurring gun violence perpetrated by gangs, groups and street crews, and develops tailored responses to these underlying conditions.  This approach works to change community norms, group dynamics, and conditions that sustain gun violence by implementing a blended approach of law enforcement, community mobilization and social service actions.   Together, these programs have led to the federal indictment of 103 known gang members since 2017.

In addition, the MDOC assigns agents specific to the gang members in the  designated target area.  This assists in conveying a strong enforcement message about the consequences of gang activity or possessing/using firearm.  In addition, it brings a targeted Re-Entry message about jobs, housing opportunities, and other social reentry programs available to assist each member in making positive behavior changes.   

PSN is also closely integrated with programs such as Project Green Light, the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN), GunStat, Detroit One, Project Sentry, the Detroit Youth Violence Prevention Initiative (DYVPI) Brotherhood and Sisterhood mentoring programs, Police-Prosecution Innovation (Special Grand Jury Project), and a newly established Crime Gun Intelligence Center. These coordinated efforts are paramount to the success of PSN and each of the partner programs aimed at reducing gang and gun-related violence in our neighborhoods. In Detroit, from 2016 to 2018, the number of homicides fell by 14% and non-fatal shootings were reduced by 21%.

Finally, PSN builds on success.  Prior evaluations of PSN on the west side of Detroit revealed significant declines in gun crime and gun crime victimization.  Similar results emerged from a recent evaluation of Detroit Ceasefire.  With continued leadership and partnerships, continuing to follow intelligence-led targeted and prioritized enforcement, complementary prevention, and holding ourselves accountable, we expect to further prevent and reduce violence and gun crime in our PSN targeted enforcement area.

For additional information regarding Project Safe Neighborhoods please contact:

Robert Poikey, Law Enforcement Manager, U.S. Attorney’s Office - Eastern District of Michigan; 313-226-9100; robert.poikey@usdoj.gov


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Updated September 10, 2019

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