Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $112,777)
The Eastern District of Kentucky PSN Task Force seeks funding to combat violent gang and gun crime. Across the region, communities have seen increases in gang, gun and drug related crimes connected to the rise in violence. The multi-agency PSN Task Force has been developing ways to combat this dangerous trend. The partners include the US Attorney’s Office, Commonwealth and County Attorney’s Offices, ATF, DEA, FBI, ICE, Secret Service, Federal Probation and Parole, Lexington Police, Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, Kentucky Probation and Parole and Fayette County School Law Enforcement.
A primary trend the PSN Task Force has identified through data collection and intelligence analysis is violent crimes being committed in counties surrounding Lexington-Fayette County with a growing percentage of Lexington-Fayette County related suspects. Another trend is suspects from larger cities such as Detroit and Chicago committing crimes within Lexington-Fayette County. Another trend is a steady increase in juvenile and teenage perpetrators of gun violence. A large percentage of these juveniles are believed to be either starting their own criminal cliques / gangs, or are being recruited by larger, more organized criminal gangs. Last, the role of social media in gun violence is expanding as conflicts often start or are perpetuated over the internet. Investigative evidence exists in Lexington and surrounding counties that gang members of all ages use social media as a way to promote their enterprises and send conflicting messages to rivals. National and local data continues to support the fact that a small percentage of offenders are responsible for most gun violence and once someone has been a victim or perpetrator of gun violence the odds dramatically increase they will again fall prey to or commit additional acts of gun violence. Because of this, the PSN Task Force believes a project focused on targeting gang members and violent offenders in Lexington will benefit surrounding counties across the region.
After intelligence analysis of violent crimes data in Lexington-Fayette County, the PSN Task Force identified the geographic areas of concentrated violence with statistics showing rising numbers of gang, gun and drug related crimes. Through the development of data driven, targeted enforcement and investigative techniques, the PSN Task Force proposes this project focus on criminals known to be regular offenders in these high crime areas.
The PSN Task Force proposes the funding be allocated to one or both programs, Operation Making a Change (OMAC) and Urban Impact Program (UIP) both of which operate in the described geographic areas targeting at risk individuals, have been identified by the PSN Task Force. In the coming months, the PSN Task Force will be seeking input from both agencies, as well as any other programs that are identified as they continue to explore available options. In addition, the PSN Task Force intends to use remaining funding available from the grant to purchase analytic software and training to help identify engagement opportunities and guide focused enforcement and prosecution efforts. The PSN Task Force will ensure statistics measuring effectiveness of the project goals will be made available to PSN as outlined in the grant.