Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a Department of Justice nationwide violent-crime reduction initiative coordinated by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices (USAOs). PSN brings together federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement officials, prosecutors and community leaders to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in a community and develop comprehensive solutions to address those issues.
PSN Goals and Objectives for Massachusetts
The USAO for the District of Massachusetts coordinates PSN through an Interagency Leadership Team, which includes local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, including EOPSS and its Massachusetts State Police. Additionally, EOPSS’s Office of Grants and Research (OGR) serves as the PSN grant fiscal agent and has administered funding, when available, since the initiative’s inception. In Massachusetts, PSN focuses on enhancing interagency communication and coordination to reduce gang and gun crime.
Although the PSN Interagency Leadership Team focuses on systematic statewide violent crime challenges, PSN includes focused efforts in the following six geographical enforcement areas, where violent crime reduction partners are laser focused on local issues and violent crime drivers:
- New Bedford
PSN Grant Funding
PSN was established in 2001 and has, at times, received federal grant funding support. The Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office received 2017 PSN funding through a competitive solicitation with funding expiring in June 2020. In federal fiscal years 2018 and 2019, funding transitioned to a formula grant with the District of Massachusetts being allocated $645,792 and $326,611, respectively. On behalf of the PSN Interagency Leadership Team, OGR administers the formula grant funding, which focuses on the following objectives:
- Strengthen youth and family protective factors in specific locations where violent groups are recruiting, through promising or evidence-based prevention and intervention programming and activities;
- Promote an anti-violent lifestyle through the use of a multi-media public service announcement campaign designed by youth;
- Improve violent crime investigations, officer safety and/or community perceptions of safety in PSN cities through resources to law enforcement for equipment, software, technology and/or services; and
- Provide trainings to law enforcement officers to help them enhance knowledge and skills.