Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in America by networking existing local programs that target gun crime and providing those programs with additional tools necessary to be successful. The Bush Administration will seek to commit $533 million to this effort over two years, including $233.6 million already available for this year. This funding will be used to hire new federal and state prosecutors, support investigators, provide training, and develop and promote community outreach efforts.
The effectiveness of Project Safe Neighborhoods is based on the ability of federal, state, and local agencies to cooperate in a unified offensive that is led by the newly appointed United States Attorney in every one of the 94 federal judicial districts across America. Through unprecedented partnership with federal, state, and local law enforcement, each United States Attorney will implement the five core elements of Project Safe Neighborhoods in a manner that is contoured to fit the specific gun crime problems in that district. The goal is to create safer neighborhoods by reducing gun violence and sustaining the reduction.
Individual cities and states have begun to respond effectively to this epidemic of gun violence. Model firearms programs such as Project Exile in Richmond, VA, and Operation Ceasefire in Boston, MA, have achieved success in many large cities throughout the country. While much success has been achieved by programs such as Exile and Ceasefire in select cities, the problem of gun violence remains unacceptably high for much of the nation. A national strategy is needed to ensure that every community is attacking gun violence with focus and intensity.
This initiative establishes a national program for reducing gun violence in America. Every newly appointed United States Attorney will be directed to certify to the Attorney General that a comprehensive gun violence program has been implemented in the United States Attorney's district. Each program consists five core elements:
The District of New Jersey and our local partners have received significant resources to implement Project Safe Neighborhoods, prosecute violent criminals who illegally use and possess firearms and promote efforts to reduce gun violence in New Jersey. We have developed a network with our state and local partners for the referral of gun crimes appropriate for federal prosecution and continue to focus on the illegal activities of violent street gangs. We have additionally dedicated Project Safe Neighborhoods resources to the investigation and prosecution of those who illegally traffic firearms into our State.
For additional information on Project Safe Neighborhoods, please visit www.psn.gov.