Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $245,875)
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia (“EDVA”), with Divisions in Alexandria, Richmond, Norfolk, and Newport News, serves more than 6 million residents living in Northern Virginia, Tidewater, Central Virginia, and surrounding communities. According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, EDVA has the busiest criminal docket outside of the districts lining the Southwest U.S. border and the Southern District of Florida and ranks third in the nation in the total number of trials per year.
In 2021, 17,002 violent crimes, involving 19,657 victims and including 544 murders, were reported across Virginia. (Note: Unless otherwise indicated, all crime data and figures come from the Virginia State Police’s Uniform Crime Report for 2021.) Firearms represented 44.9% of all known weapons used in aggravated assaults in Virginia. In addition, 15,353 major crimes were reported for 2021 in Norfolk, Newport News, Alexandria, and Richmond. (Note: because EDVA covers many more jurisdictions beyond these four cities proper, this figure is a representative sample, not an inclusive number.) Of those major crimes, 3582 were violent, consisting of one or more of the following offenses: murder, robbery, rape and other forcible sex offenses, and aggravated assaults. There were also 31,784 property crimes for these same locations categorized as one or more of the following: burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson.
The primary goal of the PSN Project for the EDVA is to reduce gun and gang violence through deterrence efforts aimed at potential offenders, the implementation of evidence-based programs and proven enforcement strategies to prevent and reduce gun and gang crimes, and the prosecution of significant firearm, controlled substance, and violent crime offenses. The PSN program will harness the resources of federal, state, and local law enforcement officials throughout EDVA. The PSN team will incorporate the five design features of PSN to reduce gun and gang violence throughout EDVA and the four PSN target enforcement areas. The PSN program will require intelligence-led approaches to identify the most violent offenders and neighborhoods in each division, and then deploy combined resources to prevent, interdict, and suppress violent criminal acts by targeted offenders in those areas.