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Baltimore, Maryland – United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron announced today that the Department of Justice has awarded Maryland $326,401 to support the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program. The Maryland grant, which is part of $17.5 million awarded nationally, will support efforts to address violent crime, including gun violence.
The Bureau of Justice Assistance, part of the department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP), will administer the 88 grant awards, which are being made to designated fiscal agents to support local PSN projects that work in partnership with U.S. Attorneys’ Offices.
“This latest Project Safe Neighborhoods grant is critical to addressing the violent crime threatening cities and towns all across our country,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco. “Ensuring the safety of all Americans is the highest priority for the Department of Justice, but when it comes to violent crime, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. We have to work closely with local public safety agencies as well as community organizations to craft individual strategies unique to each community’s needs. Programs like Project Safe Neighborhoods and the funding it provides allow us to do just that.”
“This PSN grant will be a great help to our community-based partners and state and local law enforcement to reduce violent crime in their neighborhoods,” said United States Attorney Erek L. Barron. “We will continue to work together with our partners to identify and prosecute the drivers of violence and support the community’s efforts to prevent violence.”
Maryland’s grant was awarded to the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services to support violence reduction efforts around the state. Specific jurisdictions will be awarded funds through a competitive process. Each successful applicant will be required to form a local PSN task force, complete a thorough assessment of the violent crime drivers in their community and develop a strategic plan to address those issues.
“Investing in our communities, supporting victims and building a justice system that both keeps people safe and earns their trust – these are mutually reinforcing goals that stand at the heart of Project Safe Neighborhoods,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon for OJP. “The Office of Justice Programs is pleased to join with our U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, and with jurisdictions across the country, as we work together to meet the challenges of crime and violence and achieve our shared aspirations of public safety and community trust.”
In May 2021, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced a new effort to reduce violent crime, including the gun violence that is often at its core. Integral to that effort was the reinvigoration of PSN, a two-decade old evidence-based and community-oriented program focused on reducing violent crime. The updated PSN approach, outlined in the department’s Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Violent Crime issued by Deputy Attorney General Monaco, is guided by four key principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities and measuring the results of our efforts. The fundamental goal is to reduce violent crime, not simply to increase the number of arrests or prosecutions.
This fall, U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country, including here in Maryland, have enhanced their violent crime reduction efforts to ensure alignment with the department’s comprehensive violent crime reduction strategy. U.S. Attorneys’ Offices have engaged in outreach to law enforcement and other agencies and organizations serving communities to identify the most significant drivers of violence in their districts. Working together with a broad coalition of stakeholders, the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices are addressing the most pressing violent crime issues in their district to make our neighborhoods safer for all.
PSN programs are led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in collaboration with local public safety agencies, community stakeholders and other agencies and organizations that work to reduce violent crime.
For a list of all grantees, please visit: https://www.ojp.gov/sites/g/files/xyckuh241/files/media/document/FY21-Project-Safe-Neighborhoods-Awards.pdf.
The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, advance racial equity in the administration of justice, assist victims and enhance the rule of law. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-neighborhoods-psnexile and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
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