Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $142,075)
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a nationwide commitment to reducing gun crime, links existing local programs together and provides them with necessary tools. PSN 1) takes a hard line against gun criminals, using every available means to create safer neighborhoods; 2) seeks to achieve heightened coordination among federal, state, and local law enforcement; and 3) emphasizes tactical intelligence gathering, more aggressive prosecutions, and enhanced accountability through performance measures. The United States Attorney in each federal judicial district will lead the offensive. The fiscal agent, in coordination with the PSN task force, will allocate funds throughout the community.
The Connection Inc., serving as the fiscal agent for the District of Connecticut, will use the grant funds to support PSN initiatives that target both gun crime and gang-related violence. The PSN task force will: (1) maintain the effectiveness of the firearms response units and gang task forces in each of the PSN target cities of Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, Stamford, and Waterbury, as well as newly formed task forces in Norwalk, New London, and New Britain by providing the necessary overtime and equipment; (2) assign Assistant United States Attorneys to each of the PSN task forces to advice on issues relating to wiretaps, investigative strategies, witnesses, and confidential informants; (3) use Title III intercepts wherever the law and facts permit; (4) aggressively pursue pretrial detention for offenders referred to the federal system for prosecution; (5) coordinate current PSN and anti-gang efforts, including the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, Safe Streets Task Force, Project Safe Neighborhoods ' Gang Task Force, Hartford VCIT, and Weed and Seed; (6) improve communication between the United States Attorney's Office and federal judges to explain the PSN initiative and why certain cases are being presented in federal court; (7) use gang members as cooperating witnesses; (8) conduct community trainings on gang identifiers and characteristics in an effort to improve communication between law enforcement and community leaders; and (9) support gang intelligence collection efforts and the development and implementation of a statewide gang database.