TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CW44 News AT 10)– The Department of Justice announced today that it has awarded more than $17.5 million in grants to support the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program. Funding will support efforts across the country to address violent crime, including the gun violence that is often at its core. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement was awarded $137,031 to administer PSN grant funds in the Northern District of Florida.

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), part of the department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP), will administer the 88 grant awards, which are being made to designated fiscal agents to support local PSN projects that work in partnership with U.S. Attorneys’ Offices.

READ MORE: Local Puppies Making Their Debut At The Puppy Bowl XVIII

“This latest Project Safe Neighborhoods grant is critical to addressing the violent crime threatening cities and towns all across our country,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco. “Ensuring the safety of all Americans is the highest priority for the Department of Justice, but when it comes to violent crime, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. We have to work closely with local public safety agencies as well as community organizations to craft individual strategies unique to each community’s needs. Programs like Project Safe Neighborhoods and the funding it provides allow us to do just that.”

“The investigation and prosecution of violent crime is central to our mission to protect the public,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Jason R. Coody. “Acts of gun violence are far too frequent in communities throughout the Northern District of Florida. The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to reducing gun violence through creative, proven strategies developed under the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative.  In the small towns and large cites of our district, these tailored strategies foster collaboration with our law enforcement partners and members of our community to jointly combat violent crime.”
Grant funds will support local programs coupling aggressive investigative tactics and techniques with community outreach aimed at curtailing violence. Funds may be used for equipment, services, law enforcement technology, overtime, analyst/data support, activities for non-federal prosecutors, youth-serving organizations/agencies toward the support of prevention programming, reentry programming support, academic/research partners to assist with relevant assessments, public awareness campaigns, or other projects relevant to the NDFL PSN strategy. With approval from BJA, the Fiscal Agent will begin the process of making subawards for PSN grant projects.

“Investing in our communities, supporting victims and building a justice system that both keeps people safe and earns their trust – these are mutually reinforcing goals that stand at the heart of Project Safe Neighborhoods,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon for OJP. “The Office of Justice Programs is pleased to join with our U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, and with jurisdictions across the country, as we work together to meet the challenges of crime and violence and achieve our shared aspirations of public safety and community trust.”

READ MORE: Mulberry Man Fatally Shot On Sunday Evening

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 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.

This fall, U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country have enhanced their violent crime reduction efforts to ensure alignment with the department’s comprehensive violent crime reduction strategy. U.S. Attorneys’ Offices have engaged in outreach to law enforcement and other agencies and organizations serving communities to identify the most significant drivers of violence in their districts. Working together with a broad coalition of stakeholders, the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices are addressing the most pressing violent crime issues in their district to make our neighborhoods safer for all.

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 a list of all grantees, please visit: FY21-Project-Safe-Neighborhoods-Awards.pdf (ojp.gov)

MORE NEWS: Sarasota Man Arrested In Connection To Fatal Shooting At Ackerman Park

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. More information about OJP and its components can be found at  www.ojp.gov.