Launched in 2001, the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program is a nationwide initiative that brings together federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials, prosecutors, community leaders, and other stakeholders to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in a community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. PSN is coordinated by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in the 94 federal judicial districts throughout the 50 states and U.S. territories. PSN is customized to account for local violent crime problems and resources. Across all districts, PSN follows four key design elements of successful violent crime reduction initiatives: community engagement, prevention and intervention, focused and strategic enforcement, and accountability.
A major goal of PSN is to incorporate research and data analysis, and lessons learned from other violent crime reduction initiatives, to inform its decision-making on the most effective violence reduction strategies.
On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN so that it is built on newly articulated core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results of our efforts. And the Department expressly underscores that the fundamental goal of this work is to reduce violent crime in the places we call home, not to increase the number of arrests or prosecutions as if they were ends in themselves.
Violent Crime Reduction Task Force Initiative
In addition to community engagement and outreach, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan engages in a task force approach to reducing violent crime. Federal prosecutors coordinate with counterparts in local prosecutors’ offices as well as federal and local law enforcement agencies using an evidence-based approach to identify and appropriately prosecute violent offenders disrupting local communities. Prosecutors in the office lead Violent Crime Reduction Task Forces in Benton Harbor, Battle Creek, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, and Muskegon/Muskegon Heights.