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.
In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address the rising tide of violent crime, the Department of Justice announced the reinvigoration of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) and directed all United States Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.
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.