EDVA Announces Grant Funding for PSN Initiatives

Posted on March 10, 2022Comments Off on EDVA Announces Grant Funding for PSN Initiatives

EDVA Announces Grant Funding for Project Safe Neighborhood Initiatives

ALEXANDRIA, VA (STL.News) Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA), announced today the availability of $535,653 in grant funding for Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN) initiatives.

“Addressing violent crime is among my top priorities, and it is where EDVA is focusing significant effort.  We are collaborating closely with our local, state, and federal partners on violence prevention and working to build trust and a stronger feeling of safety in the communities we serve,” said U.S. Attorney Jessica Aber.  “We recognize that to make a dent in violent crime we need an all-hands effort from the community.  Law enforcement cannot solve this problem alone.  It is with this in mind that I am pleased to announce the availability of grant funding for organizations and local and state agencies.”

EDVA has focused additional resources on its PSN program in the last year.  On August 31, 2021, the Acting U.S. Attorney for EDVA announced the assignment of two federal prosecutors specifically assigned to coordinate PSN efforts in each of the district’s four geographic Divisions.  In addition to the efforts of over 40 experienced prosecutors throughout the district, these coordinators are focused on chronic offenders, gangs, and firearms traffickers, as well as on engaging with community partners to seek prevention and intervention opportunities.

This change is part of the reassessment and retooling of EDVA’s strategy to address the most pressing violent crime problems with three principles in mind: fostering trust and legitimacy through increased community engagement; a heightened focus and attention on prevention and intervention; and strategic enforcement through enhanced multi-agency, multi-jurisdiction, proactive investigations.

Guided by those principles, EDVA’s new PSN strategy sets a number of goals to reduce violent crime:

Engage, collaborate, and invite community stakeholders to share responsibility in efforts to reduce violent crime.
Build trust between law enforcement and the community through effective communication, regular interaction, and the support and protection of crime victims.
Reduce accessibility and possession of handguns among minors.
Reduce re-offending and break the cycle of re-victimization.
Disrupt and dismantle the region’s most organized and violent gangs.
Identify chronic violent offenders responsible for a disproportionate level of violent crime.
Work with citizens in neighborhoods most impacted by violent crime on harm reduction strategies.
This fall, in an effort to enhance EDVA’s collaboration with local, state, and community partners, the U.S. Attorney’s office formed a Grant Committee to help identify and allocate grant funds to programs and initiatives that support EDVA’s PSN violence reduction strategy.  The PSN Grant Committee had its inaugural meeting on December 7, 2021, met again on January 28, 2022, and consistent with EDVA’s strategic emphasis, the Committee is currently focused on three regions—Richmond, Newport News, and Norfolk—but will evaluate grant applications from across the Eastern District.

On December 9, 2021, as part of a nationwide effort to expand PSN, the U.S. Department of Justice announced $17.5 million in additional grant funding to support PSN efforts nationwide, including $247,745 for EDVA.

“We look forward to putting this grant money to good use in the new year and remain optimistic that with the help of the community we can reduce violent crime. Everyone deserves to feel safe in their towns and cities—as Virginians and Americans, we owe that to each other,” said U.S. Attorney Jessica Aber.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

SOURCE: USDOJ.Today

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