Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $145,767)
The Eastern District of Arkansas has a long-standing commitment to the Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN) program and intends to continue that commitment for the foreseeable future. The violent crime rate in several jurisdictions within the Eastern District of Arkansas, to include West Memphis and Little Rock, has risen sharply in the past few years. Based on a brief analysis of the violent crime patterns, law enforcement has noted a marked increase in gang activity, leading to an increase in violent crime, to include several shooting incidents. The U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) proposes to directly review and continue to adopt gun cases on the most violent offenders from the county prosecuting attorney’s offices in Central Arkansas, Pine Bluff, West Memphis, and Jonesboro, the geographic hot spot areas. Except for Pine Bluff, the geographic focus centers around members of the Public Safety Partnership (PSP), which is a program initiated to focus tools and resources to these cities to reduce violent crime. Pine Bluff and the PSP cites have crime rates higher than the national average.
The USAO Eastern District of Arkansas is requesting funds to continue the implementation of the Strategic Action Plan (SAP) and Grant Action Plan (GAP). The Strategic Action Plan addresses violent crime, including, but not limited to, criminal gangs and felonious gun possession cases. The proposed project period for the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) action plan development and implementation are October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2024 (36-months).
USAO’s research partner is Dr. Jeffery T. Walker, Professor and Chair, Department of Criminal Justice, University of Alabama Birmingham.
Key partners in the USAO’s PSN initiative are identified as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), FBI Safe Streets Task Force; Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); Arkansas State Police (ASP); Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office; Little Rock Police Department; North Little Rock Police Department; Jacksonville Police Department; Sherwood Police Department; Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office; Pine Bluff Police Department; Craighead County Sheriff’s Office; Jonesboro Police Department; Crittenden County Sheriff’s Office; West Memphis Police Department; Helena-West Helena Police Department; PSN identified selection committee; Prosecuting Attorney’s Offices: 1st Judicial District (Phillips County); 2nd Judicial District (Craighead County, Crittenden County); 6th Judicial District (Pulaski County); and 11th West Judicial District (Jefferson County) and the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (Fiscal Agent).