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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 1, 2014

United States Attorney Edward L. Stanton III Announces Over $1 Million In Department Of Justice Grants To Local Authorities To Protect Sexual Assault Victims And Fight Gang And Gun Violence

Memphis, TN – Edward L. Stanton III, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced that the City of Memphis has been awarded two Department of Justice grants, together totaling over $1 million, that will help enforce protection orders and protect victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, as well as reduce gang and gun violence. The two grants are a Grant to Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of Protection Orders in the amount of $900,000, and a Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant in the amount of $148,885.

The Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of Protection Orders are intended to enhance partnerships between criminal justice agencies, victim services providers, and community organizations. The Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women awards these grants, which enhance victim safety and offender accountability in cases of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking by encouraging jurisdictions to implement pro-arrest policies as an effective intervention.

The City of Memphis, in collaboration with the Shelby County Rape Crisis Center, will use the $900,000 grant to improve post-testing requirements for victim notifications, investigations, and prosecution of increased sexual assault cases resulting from the processing of the backlog of sexual assault kits.

The Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun violence and violent crime. The goal of PSN is to take a hard line against gun criminals and gangs through every available means in an effort to make our streets and communities safer. The PSN task force, which is comprised of federal, state, and local law enforcement and other community members, implements gang violence and gun crime enforcement through tactical intelligence gathering, more aggressive prosecutions, training, deterring juveniles away from the criminal justice system, and developing and promoting meaningful community outreach efforts.

The DOJ Bureau of Justice Assistance’s grant of $148,885 will help PSN and the City of Memphis expand its data analysis and tracking capabilities, in order to ensure more efficient and targeted law enforcement efforts against gang and gun violence.

“Events of recent weeks have served as a tragic reminder of the need to protect victims of domestic violence and hold accountable those who commit violent crimes,” said United States Attorney Edward L. Stanton III. “The new $900,000 grant from the DOJ Office on Violence Against Women will help local authorities process the backlog in sexual assault kits and prosecute those who commit such heinous acts to the fullest extent the law allows. And the Project Safe Neighborhoods grant will bolster our ongoing efforts to track down and bring to justice those who illegally possess and use firearms. Together, these grants total over a million dollars, and they underscore the Department of Justice’s commitment to keeping our citizens safe and protecting victims – especially victims of domestic violence.”

Updated March 19, 2015