PROVIDENCE – As part of ongoing efforts by the District of Rhode Island and in concert with the Justice Department’s summer anti-violent crime strategy, United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha this week hosted his quarterly Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Violent Crime Strategy Session, bringing together partners from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to share critical intelligence and resources to target significant investigations into illegal firearms and firearm trafficking; gang and neighborhood violence; and drug trafficking in an around the state’s urban core.
PSN law enforcement partners meet quarterly at the United States Attorney’s Office to share law enforcement sensitive intelligence and investigative information on the individuals and organizations suspected of being involved in violent crimes associated with firearms, gangs, neighborhood violence, and/or drug trafficking, with the goal of identifying the drivers of significant criminal activity and targeting resources to address those threats to public safety. The goal is to reinforce positive trends in reducing violent crime, remain ahead of emerging areas of concern, and share critical information.
Given Rhode Island’s compact geography, the U.S. Attorney’s Rhode Island PSN Violent Crime Initiative strategically focuses on the urban corridor, that brings together law enforcement partners to deal with violence that crosses community lines, and often involves highly mobile and social media-engaged individuals.
“Coordination and cooperation with our state and local partners is critical to staying ahead of the curve when it comes to fighting violent crime,” said U.S. Attorney Cunha. "Those partnerships: with local police departments, federal agencies, and the Rhode Island Office of Attorney General are crucial to our common goal of keeping Rhode Islanders safe. By sharing intelligence, resources, and strategies, our PSN initiative aims to do exactly that, and I am grateful for our colleagues’ insights, collaboration, and continuing commitment to this effort.”
Last week, United States Attorney General Merrick B. Garland met with all 93 United States Attorneys and the senior leadership of the FBI, DEA, ATF, and the United States Marshals Service to emphasize the importance of continued efforts to address violent crime, and to reiterate the Justice Department’s commitment to identifying, investigating, and prioritizing the prosecution of those who are responsible for the greatest violence in our communities. This Justice Department-wide anti-violent crime strategy leverages the resources of federal prosecutors, agents, investigators, criminal justice experts, and grant programs to combat violent crime, to include providing resources to give law enforcement agencies the tools and training they need to protect their communities and to build the public trust that is essential to effective law enforcement.
Attorney General Garland noted that over the coming year, the Department anticipates that the Office of Justice Programs and Office of Community Oriented Policing Services will award over $1.3 billion to support state and local law enforcement efforts to combat violent crime.
Rhode Island PSN state and local law enforcement partners include the Rhode Island State Police, the Rhode Island State Fusion Center, and the Central Falls, Cranston, Pawtucket, Providence, Warwick, and Woonsocket Police Department. Federal law enforcement partners include ATF, DEA, FBI, U.S. Federal Probation, Homeland Security Investigations, United States Marshals Service, and the United States Postal Inspection Service.