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Press Release

DOJ Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant to Address State Crime Lab Gun Backlog

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha announced today that the Justice Department has awarded a $296,966 Project Safe Neighborhoods grant to the Rhode Island State Crime Laboratory to address a backlog of firearm related cases.

The grant will be used to retain a firearms examiner to reduce the backlog of expended cartridge casings and projectiles that increased from zero cases in April of 2020 to over 280 cases in when the funding was requested in May of 2021.

“Getting violent criminals and their guns off the street is critical to the safety of our communities,” said United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha. “Project Safe Neighborhoods leverages federal and state law enforcement partnerships, data, and resources to do just that.  This grant, which will help our Rhode Island partners to quickly move potentially significant evidence through the state crime lab, is a critical part of our efforts.”  ”

The Rhode Island Crime Lab serves all of the state of Rhode Island including state and municipal law enforcement agencies, the Office of the State Medical Examiner, and the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office.

The Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  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.



Jim Martin
(401) 709-5357

Updated December 13, 2021

Press Release Number: 21-135