Project Safe Neighborhoods
c/o United States Attorney's Office
Joseph F. Weis Jr. U.S. Courthouse
700 Grant Street, Suite 4000
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a collaborative effort by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and communities to prevent, deter and prosecute gun crime. The United States Department of Justice has committed millions of dollars to this effort. This funding is being used to hire new federal, state and local prosecutors, support investigators, provide training, distribute gun safety lock kits, deter juvenile gun crime, and develop and promote community outreach efforts.
In Western Pennsylvania, the Project Safe Neighborhoods Task Force has developed a strategic plan to strengthen partnerships between all levels of law enforcement agencies and community organizations, to increase awareness of the problem and to develop solutions for achieving the goal of creating safer communities by reducing gun crime.
Increased enforcement of federal firearms laws is an important part of the local Project Safe Neighborhoods strategy. Federal law prohibits any person who has been convicted of a crime punishable by a term exceeding one year from possessing any firearm. Federal law also prohibits anyone who is an illegal alien, or who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, from using or possessing a firearm.
Federal law provides for enhanced penalties for those who use or possess a firearm during or in relation to a crime of violence or drug trafficking. The United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania has been working diligently with other law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute criminals who illegally use or possess firearms.
To effectively address gun crime, law enforcement agencies must have the appropriate training, equipment and manpower.
Grant funding has been awarded directly to law enforcement and community organizations for the reduction of gun crime here in Western Pennsylvania.
Through the local PSN grant, the Pittsburgh Police have added patrols in high-crime areas and the Allegheny County Police have hired a firearms specialist to increase gun apprehension, tracking and tracing. The Pennsylvania State Police is using their portion of the grant to cover overtime costs resulting from the increasing number of firearms cases. In addition, the Allegheny County Coroner's Office Forensic Laboratories Division has hired additional firearms personnel, increased training for employees and purchased new equipment for processing firearm evidence.
Gun crime touches every neighborhood. Among the greatest assets available to combat violent crime in our neighborhoods are the citizens of Western Pennsylvania. Through Project Safe Neighborhoods, grant money is available to help support local organizations with their individual gun violence prevention and intervention programs. For information on how to apply for a PSN grant, call 412-255-4765.
Reporting illegal firearms activity is one of the most important actions citizens can take to make our neighborhoods safer.
Gun crime hits home, but citizens can hit back by reporting illegal firearms activity to local police or ATF at 1-800-ATF-GUNS. This toll-free number allows callers to anonymously report gun crime 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Billboards, bus cards, bus shelters, school posters, paid television, newspaper and movie theater ads, and public service announcements are being used to spread the Project Safe Neighborhoods message.
Members of the Western Pennsylvania Project Safe Neighborhoods include the United States Attorney's Office, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Postal Inspection Service, United States Secret Service, Pennsylvania State Police, Allegheny County Police, Allegheny County Coroner's Office, Allegheny County Chief Executive's Office, City of Pittsburgh Police, City of Pittsburgh Mayor's Office, and the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office. Research Partner: Center for Violence and Injury Control.