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Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN)


Project Safe Neighborhood Logo


Project Safe Neighborhoods is a gun violence reduction initiative being carried out in each of the nation's 93 federal judicial districts. The goal of this nationwide campaign is to create safer communities by using every available means to reduce gun violence, gun crime, and sustain those reductions. The Project builds on existing programs that target gun crime and provides those programs with the additional tools necessary to be successful.

Project Safe Neighborhoods involves both law enforcement and community organizations. The Project seeks to heighten coordination among federal, state, and local law enforcement and emphasizes intelligence gathering, strategic planning, aggressive prosecution, training, and outreach. Project Safe Neighborhoods also promotes cooperation among law enforcement and community organizations. This will increase public awareness, develop related initiatives, and enhance the deterrent effect of the Project's enforcement and prosecution strategy. Project Safe Neighborhoods will help send the message that gun crime and gun violence will not be tolerated.

On May 26, 2021, the Department of Justice launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN so that it is built on newly articulated 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.  The USAO has adopted these principles to focus its efforts in the district.  The fundamental goal of this work is to reduce violent crime in the places we call home.

Iowa Safe Logo

As part of the PSN initiative, the USAO organized a task force made up of federal, state, and local agencies dedicated to reducing gun crime and other violent crime.  This task force identified Waterloo, Iowa, as an initial area of focus and, in January 2018, formed “Iowa SAFE” (Safer Areas For Everyone), a committee designed to address violent crime in the Waterloo area.  The Iowa SAFE committee brings together a wide range of partners, including federal and state law enforcement, federal and state prosecutors, federal and state probation and parole agencies, social service providers, and members of the faith community.  In connection with the Waterloo Police Department and the department’s VCAT unit, the Task Force identifies individuals who are contributing to violence in the community, and directs much of its efforts towards deterring those individuals and preventing them from committing additional crimes.  During “call-in meetings” the identified individuals are advised that violent behavior will not be tolerated, and that violent crimes will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  Equally important, they are also able to speak with local social service providers about obtaining resources they may need.  

For more information on Project Safe Neighborhoods,
contact Assistant United States Attorney Emily Nydle,

For information on the National Program, click here.

Updated October 25, 2021