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Press Release

St. Louis Joins Justice Department's Violence Reduction Network

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

WASHINGTON – Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates, Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and United States Attorney Richard Callahan today announced that New Orleans, Louisiana; St. Louis, Missouri; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will join ten existing sites which have adopted crime-fighting strategies as part of the Violence Reduction Network (VRN). The initiative is a comprehensive approach to reducing violent crime that complements the Attorney General’s Smart on Crime Initiative and leverages existing Justice Department resources in communities around the country.

"It has been only a year-and-a-half since we launched the first Violence Reduction Network," said Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates.  "In just that short period of time, the partnerships we have built through VRN have helped to reduce crime rates.  These results could only have happened through the kind of creative collaboration promoted through the VRN."

Today’s announcement was made before an audience of U.S. Attorneys, police chiefs, local leaders from the new and existing VRN sites and department officials. Through VRN, the Justice Department enlists tactical and operational expertise available from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the United States Marshals Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Executive Office of the United States Attorneys, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and the Office on Violence Against Women. 

In 2014, VRN was launched in Camden, Chicago, Detroit, Wilmington, and Oakland and Richmond, California.  In September 2015, VRN was expanded to Compton, California; Flint, Michigan; Little Rock and West Memphis, Arkansas; and Newark, New Jersey. 

VRN’s core components include customized training and technical assistance; a strategic site liaison to guide the coordination of Justice Department resources; tools to enhance information sharing, including peer-to-peer exchanges; community practice collaboration among existing sites and an annual summit in September.

Updated March 1, 2016

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