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Press Release

United States Attorney Kavanaugh Announces Grant Funding for Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiatives

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia

Charlottesville, Va. – United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh announced today the availability of over $320,000 in grant funding for Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiatives. This funding opportunity will assist in implementing comprehensive, collaborative, and community-based approaches to reducing violent crime in the Western District of Virginia using a wide range of effective violent crime reduction strategies.

The grant money, distributed in partnership with the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), will allow eligible organizations to support a broad range of activities to reduce gun and gang violence. Programs should address deterrence efforts aimed at potential offenders, the implementation of evidence-based programs and proven enforcement strategies to prevent and reduce gun and gang crimes, and/or the prosecution of significant firearm, controlled substance, and violent crime offenses.

“These funding opportunities will be used by local organizations who are doing important work at the grassroots level to reduce violence in our neighborhoods,” United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh said today. “Project Safe Neighborhoods continues to be the major source of funding for many of these organizations and we look forward to sharing more information about those partnerships in the future.”

In May 2021, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced a new effort to reduce violent crime, including the gun violence that is often at its core. Integral to that effort was the reinvigoration of PSN, a two-decade old evidence-based and community-oriented program focused on reducing violent crime. The updated PSN approach, outlined in the Department’s Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Violent Crime issued by Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, is guided by four key principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results of our efforts.

The fundamental goal is to reduce violent crime, not simply to increase the number of arrests or prosecutions.

Guided by these principles, in October 2021, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia (WDVA) implemented a strategic PSN plan. PSN is the collaboration of community organizations as well as federal, state, and local law-enforcement agencies to build evidence-based and intelligence-led approaches to identifying the most violent gangs and offenders in each affected community and deploying their combined resources not only to prevent violent crimes but also, through offender intervention and rehabilitation efforts, to help break the cycle of violence by addressing its underlying causes. United States Attorney Kavanaugh has assigned specific federal prosecutors to those areas in our District to help implement this strategy and coordinate with law enforcement as well as engaging with community partners.

The Grants Program is just one component of the multi-faceted efforts the U.S. Attorney’s Office has implemented in Danville, Roanoke City/County region, and Lynchburg. This funding opportunity is open to state and local law enforcement agencies, governmental entities, educational institutions, and 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations who are located in, or have the ability to serve, those areas. Applicants are expected to use the funds to support the WDVA’s PSN pillars, which include community engagement, prevention and intervention, focused and strategic enforcement, and accountability.

To select and administer its PSN grant funds, the United States Attorney’s Office will select community members to serve as members of an independent Grants Committee.  The Committee will be composed of individuals from the Danville, Lynchburg, and Roanoke areas with experience in community outreach, law enforcement, or who are otherwise qualified to fairly review and assess applications that will help achieve our PSN goals. None of the Committee’s members will be current federal employees, and no member will be eligible to apply for or receive PSN funding. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office encourages those eligible organizations to apply for grant assistance by visiting the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services website at The website also has information related to the guidelines and application procedures. Completed applications should be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on April 26, 2023.

PSN programs are led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in collaboration with local public safety agencies, community stakeholders and other agencies and organizations that work to reduce violent crime.

For additional funding opportunities and awards that will further assist our efforts to reduce violent crime across our district, please visit The Office of Justice Programs website The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, advance racial equity in the administration of justice, assist victims, and enhance the rule of law.

Updated March 27, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods