Justice Department awards $30 million to combat violent crime
Ponca City Now - October 4, 2018 7:25 am
OKLAHOMA CITY – In support of the Department’s Project Safe Neighborhoods programs throughout the country, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced almost $28 million in grant funding to combat violent crime through PSN and another $3 million for training and technical assistance to develop and implement violent crime reduction strategies and enhance services and resources for victims of violent crime.
Of the almost $28 million, $247,251 has been allocated to the Oklahoma District Attorneys Council to support PSN in the Western District of Oklahoma. The Council was also allocated $157,363 for PSN in the Northern District of Oklahoma and $111,323 for PSN in the Eastern District of Oklahoma.
“Project Safe Neighborhoods is a proven program with demonstrated results,” Sessions said. “We know that the most effective strategy to reduce violent crime is based on sound policing policies that have proven effective over many years, which includes being targeted and responsive to community needs. I have empowered our U.S. Attorneys to focus enforcement efforts against the most violent criminals in their districts, and directed that they work together with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and community partners to develop tailored solutions to the unique violent crime problems they face. Each U.S. Attorney has prioritized the PSN program, and I am confident that it will continue to reduce crime, save lives, and restore safety to our communities.”
PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and re-entry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
Through the enhanced PSN, the Department is targeting the most violent criminals in the most violent areas and using policing tools that did not exist even a few years ago. Tools like crime gun intelligence centers, which combine intelligence from gunshot detection systems, ballistics, gun tracing, and good old-fashioned police work, help to develop real-time leads on the “traffickers and trigger pullers” who are fueling the violence in their communities.
The Department has already started to observe signs of progress. The FBI’s official crime data for 2017 reflects that, after two consecutive increases in violent crime, in the first year of the Trump Administration the nationwide violent crime rate began to decline. The nationwide violent crime rate decreased by approximately one percent in 2017, while the nationwide homicide rate decreased by nearly one-and-a-half percent. The preliminary information for 2018 shows that the Department’s efforts are continuing to pay off. Public data from 60 major cities show that violent crime decreased by nearly five percent in those cities in the first six months of 2018 compared to the same period one year earlier.