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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Justice Department Awards nearly a Half-Million Dollars to DeKalb Police Task Force in Project Safe Neighborhoods Program

ATLANTA – The Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance awarded grants totaling $499,899 to create safer neighborhoods through a reduced in gang violence and gun crime.  The awards are funded under the 2016 Violent Gang and Gun Crime Reduction (Project Safe Neighborhoods) Program.  The goal of PSN is to create safer neighborhoods by focusing on in gang violence and gun crime.

“Gang violence and gun crime are two of the most formidable obstacles we face in ensuring that every American lives in safe and secure communities,” said U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch. “These vital grants give jurisdictions the resources they need to develop comprehensive, collaborative responses to the most serious and destructive crimes.  By combining more effective enforcement with closer cooperation, better data and expanded prevention initiatives, Project Safe Neighborhoods helps communities make meaningful strides towards ending violence, promoting peace, and restoring hope.”

“The PSN grant will enable the DeKalb Task Force to implement a multi-faceted approach to reduce gang violence and gun-related crimes,” said U.S. Attorney John Horn.  “The Task Force’s collaborative approach, which relies on the expertise of our federal, state and local law enforcement partners as well as key community leaders, will help communities that struggle with gang and gun violence to implement meaningful and proven anti-gang and anti-violence measures.”

The program’s effectiveness is based on a cooperative approach and unified strategies led by the U.S. Attorney, a collaborative PSN task force of federal, state, and local law enforcement, community members, and other key partners.  The partners work to implement gang crime and gun violence enforcement, intervention, and prevention initiatives, using data and research with a local research partner.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office DeKalb PSN Task Force will implement a highly refined and proven strategy to mitigate gun and gang violence within three target areas in DeKalb County including Brookhaven, Chamblee, and the South DeKalb County area.  The grant funds also will help the task force agencies exchange intelligence information with other agencies in the Atlanta area.

The 2016 DeKalb PSN Task Force is comprised of the DeKalb County, Brookhaven, and the Chamblee Police Departments.  The Task Force will develop and enhance initiatives focusing on crime suppression, education, and prevention.  The law enforcement partners will form a Gang Task Force that will work jointly in each of the three jurisdictions.  In conjunction with the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office, training will be conducted for officers on gang recognition and on best practices for compiling evidence for successful gang prosecutions. 

Additionally, Rehoboth Baptist Church in Tucker, Georgia, will provide training on a variety of topics to youth in the target areas, and will conduct community outreach to build strong and lasting relationships within the communities.  The outreach programs are designed to closely implement the recommendations of the President’s 21st Century Task Force on Policing, and specifically the Implementation Guide issued by the Department of Justice last year. 

The efforts of the PSN Task Force will be guided by data collected by members of the task force, and analyses of that data conducted by Applied Research Services, Inc., a national consulting firm based in Atlanta that has extensive experience and a proven track record with PSN initiatives. 

“We're excited and honored to participate with all partners involved in this grant to assist us in the reduction of violent crime and making our areas safer for our residents and businesses,” said Gary Yandura, Chief of Police, City of Brookhaven, Georgia.

“We look forward to working with our partners in this initiative to make our communities safer,” said Donny Williams, Chief of Police, Chamblee, Georgia, Police Department.

“We are grateful for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia and their desire to improve our neighborhoods through local partnerships,” said Dr. Troy Bush, Senior Pastor, Rehoboth Baptist Church.  “This grant and the partnership of federal, state, and local law enforcement along with community partners invests resources in one of the greatest law enforcement needs we have—crime prevention. This initiative is a strategic and timely effort that will make our neighborhoods and communities safer.”

Each applicant addressed the required PSN design features in its application: (1) Partnerships; (2) Strategic Planning, Crime Analysis, and Research Integration; (3) Training; (4) Outreach; and (5) Accountability and Data-Driven efforts.

In addition to the three participating police departments, the DeKalb County District Attorney’s office and Peace Baptist Church in Decatur, Georgia, made invaluable contributions to the grant application.

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has six bureaus and offices: 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 (SMART). More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated September 28, 2016