U.S. Department Of Justice Awards $500,000 Crime-Fighting Grant To New Jersey
Office of Justice Programs Funds U.S. Attorney-led Violence Reduction Effort in Jersey City
NEWARK, N.J. - The U.S. Department of Justice today awarded a $500,000 grant to New Jersey for a Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program designed to reduce crime in Jersey City by focusing law enforcement efforts on gang and gun violence, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
The New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office worked with partners in Jersey City and the N.J. Department of Law and Public Safety’s Division of Criminal Justice to develop the application that successfully competed against others from across the country.
“The goal of this project is to reduce violent crime in one of New Jersey’s largest and most densely populated cities,” U.S. Attorney Fishman said. “To do that, this grant will fund state-of-the-art methods to analyze criminal activity, improve information sharing among law enforcement agencies and collaboration with the community, and do a better job of getting services to where they are most needed.”
U.S. Attorney Fishman said Jersey City has made substantial progress in addressing gun crime and gang violence, particularly through its participation in the Violent Enterprise Source Targeting (VEST) Program, which was developed to dismantle criminal organizations through multi-agency collaboration to share intelligence, target the most violent offenders, and conduct sustained enforcement operations and coordinated prosecutions.
Jersey City plans to use the $500,000 PSN grant to expand and amplify the federal, state and local partnerships created by VEST. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide effort to reduce gang and gun violence by networking existing local programs and providing them with additional tools.
The New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office is responsible for establishing a collaborative PSN task force of federal, state, and local law enforcement and other community members to implement gang violence and gun crime enforcement, intervention and prevention initiatives within the district. The PSN Task Force will be expanded to include community partners, Rutgers University, as well as law enforcement. The law enforcement arm includes the Drug Enforcement Administration, the N.J. State Police, the N.J., Department of Corrections, Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, Hudson County Sheriff’s Office and Jersey City Police Department. On the community level, collaborators will include the City of Jersey City, Rutgers University, Jersey City Employment and Training Program, which operates Jersey City’s reentry program led by former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey, Jersey City Public Schools, Jersey City Department of Recreation, Urban Concerns, Boys & Girls Club of Hudson County, Jersey City Housing Authority, Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Jersey City, Jersey City Medical Center, Hudson County Chamber of Commerce, Urban League of Hudson County, and a network of additional non-profit and faith-based partners.