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Puerto Rico Project Safe Neighborhoods Project

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $133,930)

Puerto Rico continues to be a prime target for transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) to import large quantities of controlled substances because of its geographical location and features, and due to its special political relationship to the United States. As the Southernmost border for the United States, TCOs focus their trafficking efforts in breaching our extensive coastline with their product because once the product reaches our shorelines, defeating federal customs checks becomes easier.

These characteristics also make Puerto Rico a prime destination for large quantities of illegal guns sent from Florida, Texas, and other source states through the mail, many of which are used to protect the drug trafficking business on the island. The Puerto Rico government’s bankruptcy has, in stark contrast, resulted in cuts to local services, including law enforcement efforts like forensic laboratories, police hiring and training, and local prosecutor hiring and training, that impair law enforcement interdiction efforts.

The Puerto Rico U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) spearheads the violent crime reduction efforts on the island in close coordination with its local law enforcement partners. The USAO’s active participation in the Project Safe Neighborhood Initiative and other federal-local interagency law enforcement coordination is essential to achieving these efforts.

Our PSN proposal consist in the procurement of Penlink and i2 licenses for the Puerto Rico Police Bureau and violent crime investigators, and to the development and installation of an effective license plate reader system. These programs will assist local partners in completing criminal-intelligence analyses that can buttress effective prosecutions. The funds would include the training of police officers and analysts in the use of these programs. The license-plate readers system proposed will require the purchase of fixed position cameras at traffic lights and highway signage in thorough to, from and within high gang and drug activity areas and mobile cameras to be placed on law enforcement vehicles.

In addition, in collaboration with our PSN partners we plan to develop prevention and intervention programs at public schools, sports and recreation programs and community relations and educational programs in the proposed areas or municipalities.

Date Created: September 25, 2023