Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $53,802)
U.S. Virgin Islands Project Safe Neighborhoods Strategic Action Plan (SAP)
Application # O-BJA-2021-94005
Pursuant to Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of the Virgin Islands (USAO-VI) has been designated as the Adviser to the U.S. Virgin Islands Project Safe Neighborhoods Task Force.
The US Virgin Islands continues to face high incidence of violent crimes, often “leading” the nation in this metric by reporting the highest rate of murders per 100,000 population. While explanations for violent crime vary, accessibility to firearms, increased gang activity, problems with drug trafficking, domestic violence, low solvability of cases (allowing for one suspect to potentially commit multiple homicides), low conviction rates (due to witness testimony and fear), and turf wars are some of the reasons identified to be likely impacting the USVI.
The Task Force continue to address violent crime within the communities that have been affected the hardest. Together they develop and implement strategies to address violent crime through coordinated enforcement, intervention, prevention, and reentry initiative within the USVI. Based on the Administration’s violent crime reduction strategy that is built on newly articulated core principles, The PSN Task Force will continue to work towards fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, support community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, set focus and strategic enforcement priorities, and measure the outcome of our efforts.
The PSN Task Force consists of 53 members, representing local and federal law enforcement, the local Attorney General’s Office, Virgin Islands Housing Authority, members of the faith-based community, a fiscal agent, and community-based organizations. The members represent the following agencies:
• Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
• Caribbean Centers for Boys & Girls / Boys and Girls Club
• Crime Stoppers VI
• Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
• Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
• Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
• Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
• Puerto Rico/Virgin Islands High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA)
• U.S. Postal Inspection Service
• U.S. Marshals Service
• Virgin Islands Department of Justice
• Virgin Islands Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Council (DVSAC)
• Virgin Islands Housing Authority (VIHA)
• Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD)
• Weed and Seed Youth Program
The Law Enforcement Planning Commission (LEPC) serves as the fiscal agent for the Project Safe Neighborhoods grant. LEPC, serves as the state agency for the United States Virgin Islands.
The proposed project period will be from 10/1/21 to 9/30/24. The grant will serve the territory of the United States Virgin Islands.
For this project, LEPC will adhere to guidelines for creation of rubrics for evaluating eligibility/merit, adherence to five (5) PSN design features, and capabilities and competencies for implementing the proposed strategy. The PSN Selection Committee will provide recommendations based on independent application review, and the LEPC
Director will also give approval of all sub awards prior to final approval given by BJA.