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Press Release

U.S. Attorney Peter Deegan Announces Progress in Making our Communities Safer through Project Safe Neighborhoods

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
FBI Crime in the United States Report Shows 3.9 Drop in Violent Crime in 2018

Two years ago, the Department of Justice announced the revitalization and enhancement of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the department’s violent crime reduction strategy. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Throughout the past two years, we have partnered with all levels of law enforcement, local organizations, and members of the community to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  According to FBI’s 2018 Crime in the United States Report released this week, the violent crime rate decreased for the second consecutive year, down 3.9 percent from the 2017 numbers.

“The revitalized Project Safe Neighborhoods program is a major success,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “It packs a powerful punch by combining advanced data with local leadership, further reducing violence in communities across the country and improving overall public safety. U.S. Attorneys continue to focus their enforcement efforts against the most violent criminals and work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal police. The Justice Department’s relationships across the board have never been stronger.”

“Reducing violent crime and protecting our communities has been and remains a top priority for my office,” said United States Attorney Peter E. Deegan, Jr.  “Our Project Safe Neighborhood partnership with local, state, and federal law enforcement has made our streets safer.  But the fight is not over.  We will continue to work together to bring violent and dangerous offenders to justice.”

As we celebrate the two-year anniversary of the revitalized PSN program, here are some of the highlights of our PSN actions over the past year:


Enforcement Actions

In the Northern District of Iowa, we continue to work in partnership with local and federal law enforcement agencies. In June of this year, we announced charges and arrests in thirty-two federal gun cases.  The charges were brought as a joint effort with the following agencies as a continued commitment to prosecute the most dangerous offenders in our communities: the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Cedar Rapids Police Department, the Dubuque Police Department, the United States Marshal’s Service, Homeland Security Investigations, the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, and the Waterloo Police Department.


Community Partnerships

The Iowa SAFE Task Force was created in January of 2018.  The task force is comprised of members of the US Attorney’s Office, Black Hawk County Attorney’s Office, Department of Corrections, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the Waterloo Police Department, The Federal Bureau of Investigation, University of Northern Iowa, United States Probation Office, Unity Point, Family & Children’s Counsel of Black Hawk County, Center for Violence Prevention, Iowa WORKS, Friends of the Family, Cedar Valley Iowa Works, Violent Crimes Program, Catholic Charities, and multiple community members.  The group meets bi-weekly to discuss and implement strategies to deter and reduce gun crimes in the Waterloo area. 


Improvements to Community Safety

  • For the second consecutive year, the estimated number of violent crimes in the nation decreased when compared with the previous year’s statistics, according to FBI figures released today. In 2018, the number of violent crimes was down 3.3 percent from the 2017 number.
  • The 2018 statistics also show the estimated rate of violent crime was 368.9 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants. The violent crime rate fell 3.9 percent when compared with the 2017 rate.

These enforcement actions and partnerships are part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime. To learn more about Project Safe Neighborhoods, go to

Updated October 29, 2019

Community Outreach
Project Safe Neighborhoods