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Western District of Virginia 2008 Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $103,027)

Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a nationwide commitment to reducing gun crime, links existing local programs together and provides them with necessary tools. PSN takes a hard line against gun criminals, using every available means to create safer neighborhoods; seeks to achieve heightened coordination among federal, state, and local law enforcement; and 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 Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, serving as the fiscal agent for the Western District of Virginia (WDVA), will use the grant to build upon its existing PSN strategy in the areas of partnerships, operations, and outreach. The WDVA partners with local law enforcement agencies and prosecutors in targeted rural and metropolitan areas where gun-related crimes are most prevalent. The PSN steering committee develops plans for distribution of the sub-grant funds into areas where there is the most demonstrated need for PSN enforcement and prosecution support. The sub-grants are also directed to areas where the funds support multi-agency task force efforts to promote investigations and prosecutions of illegal gun crimes.

The WDVA will continue funding a special prosecutor retained through the Radford Commonwealth's Attorney's Office as a PSN coordinator. The prosecutor focuses on prosecuting illegal firearm and violent crime defendants in the seven federal courts in the WDVA and coordinates PSN efforts throughout the district. Additionally, funding will be used to continue a Special Assistant US Attorney position (SAUSA) in the Harrisonburg Commonwealth's Attorney Office to prosecute gang and gun-related crimes in the district. These positions will coordinate with the 2007 PSN and anti-gang sub-grantees to provide a network of law enforcement and prosecution services focused on reducing gang and gun crimes.

The U.S. Attorney (USA) will work with their local communities to increase awareness of PSN, promote community involvement, send a gun crime deterrent message, and work with citizens to develop a gun crime reduction strategy for the district, including appropriate crime prevention strategies that involve community members. The USA for the WDVA will continue to make presentations to the public and at law enforcement and prosecutor training programs to promote PSN efforts. The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police will provide PSN training opportunities to law enforcement executives at its annual conference. The WDVA will continue its aggressive media and community engagement program in 2008.


Date Created: September 7, 2008