The Department of Justice has awarded $314,273 to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) to administer Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) grant funds in the District of Massachusetts. Since the program began in 2001, nearly $7 million in federal grant funds have been allocated to the District of Massachusetts’s violent crime reduction efforts.
PSN is a Department of Justice nationwide violent-crime reduction initiative coordinated by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices. 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. While the initiative was first launched in 2001, the Department strengthened the program in May 2021 by implementing a new strategy focused on reducing violent crime in the places we call home, not solely increasing the number of arrests or prosecutions.
Each U.S. Attorney’s Office across the United States is responsible for creating a comprehensive strategy for reducing violent crime. The District of Massachusetts established an extensive network of law enforcement and community partners who have been fundamental to this strategy’s success in six target cities: Boston, Brockton, Lawrence, New Bedford, Springfield and Worcester.
The distribution of grant funds to target cities across the state has enabled communities and organizations to implement programming focused on after-school activities, education, employment, re-entry for returning citizens, law enforcement/community collaboration, and public service outreach projects, among others.
In Massachusetts, PSN projects include:
• Developing and sustaining community/law enforcement partnerships and strengthening their capabilities in targeted communities across the state by maximizing federal resources;
• Collaborating with state and local law enforcement on violent crime and illegal firearm prosecutions;
• Providing training for nearly 4,500 law enforcement personnel and community members on topics such as advancements in technology, empowering neighborhoods on addressing gang prevention; updates on new innovative community programs and partnerships; and officer safety training;
• Supporting community partners and outreach programs to address reentry barriers for returning citizens and empower youth to resist gang recruitment;
• Formulating tools to measure the performance of projects funded with PSN and other federal grants.
“Shootings and other violent crimes cause devastating injuries and death for victims, of course, but they also destabilize the communities in which they occur. That is why this Office continues to prioritize violent crime reduction efforts through the PSN initiative,” said Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell. “This funding, in addition to the continued collaboration with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, will enable us to develop tailored strategies that target the most violent criminals and make our communities safer.”
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.