Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN)
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a Department of Justice nationwide violent-crime reduction initiative coordinated by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices (USAOs). PSN 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 those issues. While the initiative was first launched in 2001, the Department strengthened the program in May 2021 by implementing a new strategy focused on reducing violent crime in the places we call home, not solely increasing the number of arrests or prosecutions.
Each U.S. Attorney’s Office across the United States is responsible for creating a comprehensive strategy for reducing violent crime, using the following 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.
Since the program began, nearly $7 million in federal grant funds have been allocated to the District’s violent crime reduction efforts.
The District of Massachusetts has established an extensive network of law enforcement and community partners who have been fundamental to this strategy's success in eight target areas: The City of Boston, the City of Brockton, the City of Holyoke, the City of Lawrence, City of Lowell, the City of New Bedford, the City of Springfield, the City of Worcester.
The distribution of grant funds to target cities across the state has enabled communities and organizations to implement programming focused on after-school activities, education, employment, re-entry for returning citizens, law enforcement/community collaboration, and public service outreach projects, among others.
In Massachusetts, PSN projects have included:
- Developing and sustaining community/law enforcement partnerships and strengthening their capabilities in targeted communities across the state by maximizing federal resources.
- Collaborating with state and local law enforcement on violent crime and illegal firearm prosecutions.
- Providing training for nearly 4,500 law enforcement personnel and community members on topics such as advancements in technology, how to empower neighborhoods for gang prevention, updates on new innovative community programs and partnerships, and officer safety training.
- Supporting community partners and outreach programs to address reentry barriers for returning citizens and empower youth to challenge gang recruitment.
- Formulating tools to measure the performance of projects funded with PSN and other federal grants.