United States Attorney
Southern District of Indiana
Subject: Strategic Plan of the United States Attorney's Office, Southern District of Indiana
Date: December 4, 2017
To: United States Attorney's Office, Southern District of Indiana
From: Josh J. Minkler, United States Attorney
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
STRATEGIC PLAN FOR PROJECT SAFE NEIGHBORHOODS
(January 2018 through January 2020)
The Attorney General has directed United States Attorneys to take the lead in their respective Districts to implement a results-oriented reinvigoration of the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program. PSN is a collaborative approach to public safety with the overarching goal of coordinating federal, state, and local law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make communities safer for everyone. In its Strategic Plan, the Southern District of Indiana (SDIN) prioritized combating violent crime, including renewing its commitment to PSN. This Strategic Plan for Project Safe Neighborhoods follows up on that priority, detailing the role this Office will play in coordinating and leading a strengthened PSN program in this District focused on accountability.
In Marion County, homicides and nonfatal shootings have reached all-time highs for three consecutive years. Robberies, carjackings, and other violent crimes are also at all-time highs. Violent crime, including homicides and shootings, is also surging in Vanderburgh County. No single level of law enforcement - federal, state, or local has the capacity to confront this epidemic alone. Beyond resource constraints, the SDIN has jurisdictional limitations: This Office is empowered to prosecute gangs and drug trafficking organizations, as well as individuals who perpetrate commercial robberies, commit violent crimes with firearms, and possess firearms as prohibited persons. But this Office's ability to prosecute defendants who use firearms to commit murder and assault is limited. The PSN program offers an opportunity for the SDIN to work together with our partners in state and local law enforcement to capitalize on our overlapping jurisdictions, pool resources and knowledge, and boost the chances of achieving our shared goal of reducing violent crime in this District. The specific goal of SDIN's PSN program will be the reduction of violent crime in each of the six Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Districts and Evansville.
The SDIN's PSN program will have the following features, as directed by the Attorney General: (1) leadership by the U.S. Attorney; (2) partnerships at all levels of law enforcement; (3) targeted law enforcement; (4) prevention of additional violence; and (5) accountability for results.
RESPONSE #1: LEADERSHIP
1.1 The U.S. Attorney shall be responsible for developing and implementing a violent crime reduction plan directed at the geographic areas within the Southern District of Indiana experiencing increases in violent crime.
1.2 The Deputy Chief of the DVCU shall assign one AUSA to each of the six IMPD districts, which will correspond to six PSN districts. The Evansville Branch Chief shall assign one AUSA to a seventh PSN district, covering Vanderburgh County. Each AUSA will be delegated the authority and responsibility to implement PSN in his or her assigned PSN district. The Deputy Chief of the DVCU and the Evansville Branch Chief shall supervise the AUSAs they assign to the PSN Districts.
1.3 The Deputy Chief of the DVCU shall designate a PSN Coordinator. The PSN Coordinator shall be responsible for collecting and organizing violent crime data covering the entire program and reporting that data to the Deputy Chief and Evansville Branch Chief. The PSN coordinator shall be responsible for preparing PSN reports as required by the Department of Justice.
RESPONSE #2: PARTNERSHIPS
2.1 The U.S. Attorney shall be responsible for ensuring that federal law enforcement agencies support the implementation of the PSN program in all seven PSN districts. The U.S. Attorney will convene regular meetings to develop and sustain the relationships and support necessary for a successful PSN program.
2.2 Each AUSA assigned to a PSN district shall be responsible for developing and promoting coordination among federal, state, and local agencies at work in his or her assigned PSN district. Each AUSA should encourage open communication in an effort to build productive working relationships among law enforcement agencies within that district.
RESPONSE #3: TARGETED ENFORCEMENT
3.1 Working with law enforcement partners, each AUSA shall identify his or her PSN district's most significant violent crime problems. Before developing a response, each AUSA shall review those challenges with the Deputy Chief of the DVCU or Evansville Branch Chief.
3.2 Each AUSA shall then develop and implement a plan for the coordinated use of law enforcement resources to mitigate those challenges. Such plans should utilize available data and advances in technology to track the causes of violent crime in specific communities. Such plans should also prioritize the prosecution of the most violent offenders in the federal, state, or local system-whichever provides the most certain and appropriate sanction for a given offender or group of offenders. When developing a plan or response to a given violent crime problem, AUSAs must consult with the Deputy Chief of the DVCU or Evansville Branch Chief to ensure the proposed strategy is consistent with the mission of the Office and the Department as a whole.
3.3 The U.S. Attorney shall amend the Office Prosecution·Guidelines to allow for federal prosecution of the most violent offenders.
RESPONSE #4: PREVENTION
4.1 Working with law enforcement partners, the U.S. Attorney and the Law Enforcement Coordinator (LEC) shall be responsible for developing relationships with community leaders and residents in each district. The U.S. Attorney and the LEC shall also be responsible for ensuring public awareness of the violent crime reduction strategy and enforcement results.
4.2 A PSN Board exists under the current PSN Program. The LEC along with the PSN Board shall be responsible for supporting local prevention, deterrence, and reentry efforts in the PSN districts. The PSN Coordinator will be the U.S. Attorney's representative on the PSN Board.
4.3 The LEC shall be responsible for ensuring that the SDIN provides training and support for federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.
RESPONSE #5: ACCOUNTABILITY
5.1 To ensure that the SDIN's PSN program is successfully reducing violent crime and improving public safety, each AUSA assigned to a PSN district shall collect and report relevant data to the PSN Coordinator on a monthly basis. The PSN Coordinator shall organize and provide such data to the Deputy Chief of the DVCU and Evansville Branch Chief to assist in guiding strategies and measuring impacts. The PSN Coordinator's analysis shall track the following metrics: specific agency and community partners in each district, strategies deployed to identify offenders, enforcement activities undertaken in the district, and impact. The last measure is essential to the success of PSN and should include data showing the number of homicides, aggravated assaults, robberies, and nonfatal shootings in each PSN district. The PSN Coordinator shall report this data to the U.S. Attorney. The Department of Justice's recent PSN Guidance also contemplates regular PSN Reports to the Department; the PSN Coordinator shall report the same data to the Department in any such PSN Report. If requested, the PSN coordinator shall also report investigation and prosecution data covering federal, state, and local levels to the Department of Justice.
5.2 The Deputy Chief of the DVCU and Evansville Branch Chief shall review accountability measurements on a monthly basis with the U.S. Attorney. Such reviews should detail the extent to which PSN is decreasing violent crime in each of the PSN districts.
5.3 At regular intervals, the Deputy Chief of the DVCU and Evansville Branch Chief shall review the success of PSN in each PSN district with the assigned AUSAs. If the data show that the current PSN plan is not reducing violent crime in a given district, the AUSA assigned to that district and the Deputy Chief of the DVCU or Evansville Branch Chief, with input from law enforcement partners, shall retool the plan to improve results and achieve the goal of reducing violent crime in that PSN district.