SAN FRANCISCO/OAKLAND – The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) awarded a $500,000 grant to the Northern District of California to support the Oakland Police Department under the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.
The BJA, a component of the Office of Justice Programs in the Department of Justice, awarded $5.1 million in PSN grants to sixteen communities. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of California, applied for and received a $500,000 competitive grant award to assist the Oakland Police Department in curbing gangs and reducing gun violence. This was the only PSN award made in California and was one of only sixteen awards made from nearly seventy applications in a national competition. Grants ranged in size from $150,000 to $500,000. Only six awards of $500,000 were made in the country.
PSN is a strategy for combating gun violence and gang crime that builds on the latest research, community partnerships, strategic planning, training, outreach and accountability. As part of the PSN program, the U.S. Attorney and federal partners work side-by-side with local and state law enforcement and others to tailor a PSN strategy to fit the unique gun and gang crime problems in a community. The program’s effectiveness is based on the cooperation of local, state and federal agencies engaged in a unified approach led by the U.S. Attorney.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office’s commitment to combating violent crime in the City of Oakland continues with vigor. Every day Federal law enforcement works hand-in-hand with the Oakland Police Department and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office to target perpetrators of gang, drug, and gun violence. The U.S. Marshal’s fugitive apprehension efforts, the ATF’s Operation Gideon, the DEA and the U.S. Secret Services’ takedown of the Burnout Family Mafia, the FBI’s Operation Red Dawn, which targeted members of the Nuestra Familia, and Project Safe Schools, which subjected peddlers of drugs near elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools to significant sentences, are but a handful of recent collaborative operations,” stated U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag. “PSN looks at the entire spectrum of violence in a community from prevention, intervention, suppression, enforcement, and re-entry. Today’s new grant of $500,000 is well-deserved and will substantially assist the City of Oakland in expanding upon a comprehensive violence reduction and prevention program,” added Ms. Haag.
This particular grant will assist the City of Oakland in coordinating the many entities that are needed in creating and maintaining an effective violence reduction strategy that focuses on the small group of serious offenders that drive the majority of the violence in Oakland. This grant provides funding for a full time senior level manager tasked with coordinating all of the necessary pieces for a proven violence reduction strategy that employs partnership among enforcement agencies, community leaders and the clergy to achieve near-term community-wide reductions in shootings.
The 16 awardees and districts are: California Emergency Management Agency (Northern District of California); Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services (Northern District of Ohio); Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (Northern District of Illinois); Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (Western District of Washington); Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (District of Maryland); Safe City Commission (Northern District of Texas); City of Chattanooga Comprehensive Gang Task Force (Eastern District of Tennessee); New Mexico Department of Public Safety (District of New Mexico); Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance (Western District of Wisconsin); City of Omaha, Neb. (District of Nebraska); Justice Grants Administration (District of Columbia); Hoyleton Youth and Family Services (Southern District of Illinois); City of Memphis (Western District of Tennessee); state of Maine (District of Maine); Public Safety Grant Administration Office (District of Rhode Island) and City of Erie Police Department (Western District of Pennsylvania).
The Northern District of California received $500,000 from the PSN program in 2012. Those grant funds went to the City of Salinas to implement a Violence Interrupter Program operated through a local non-profit, Second Chance.
More information on President Obama’s plan to reduce gun violence is available at: www.whitehouse.gov/issues/preventing-gun-violence
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. OJP has six components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking. More information about OJP can be found at http://www.ojp.gov