Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $77,404)
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
The Northern District of Mississippi consists of 37 rural counties. As a part of its PSN initiative, the Northern District of Mississippi has created multiple violent crime/narcotics task forces to attack gun crime throughout the Mississippi Delta and in all four corners of our District. The NDMS has narrowed our PSN focal points to two areas of our District that have experienced heightened gun, drug and gang problems. The city of Greenville has been a PSN site since 2002, and the city of Tupelo, Mississippi, has been a focal point since PSN was reinvigorated in October of 2017.
Due to the limited resources in our District, we have elected to remove the “Golden Triangle Area (consisting of the Cities of West Point, Starkville and Columbus) as a focal point. Further, our focal area of Tupelo has been narrowed from a five county “Northern Corridor” area, to a two county area (including Lee and Alcorn Counties), and now to only include the City of Tupelo. Although our PSN focus sites are now limited to two areas, it is important to note that our District is working closely with local law enforcement across our District to reduce violent crime. Our office has a long history of working alongside local partners throughout the District who have identified violent crime issues and requested help, and we will continue to do that, regardless of whether an area is designated as a PSN site.
Because the violent crime problem in our District is largely intertwined with drug trafficking and gang activity, our U.S. Attorney led task forces have attacked gun crime in our target areas with OCDETF investigations. Several ATF agents and task force agents are assigned on a full-time basis to each of the multi-agency task forces conducting these investigations to ensure that violent gun crimes are fully investigated and that those responsible are prosecuted. Combining the OCDETF investigations with such strategies as crime-mapping, worst of the worst target lists, violent offender lists and proactive policing, we are targeting violent crime and aggressively prosecuting offenders.
Our District continues to operate a Reentry Court that services two of our target areas. The Northern District’s SCALE (Second Chance at Life) Program utilizes partnerships between law enforcement, social service providers, community members and faith-based partners to combat recidivism rates among high risk offenders. Centered in Lee County, it also has served defendants from the Golden Triangle area. In addition, a Delta Reentry court that services the Greenville site was launched approximately two years ago.
This District is requesting a 2022 grant award to further assist our state, local and community partners in ongoing PSN efforts. This money will be used over a two-year period for proactive law enforcement efforts, community prevention and intervention, training and community education. For more information, please contact PSN Coordinator, Susan Bradley at (662) 234-3351.