Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $142,057)
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 Southern District of California, through the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), will use FY 08 PSN funds to build and sustain multi-agency coordination and community engagement in order to reduce gun crime and gun violence. The District will implement the following programs: 1) Aggressively investigate illegal possession and sale of firearms cases by conducting a two-phased gun enforcement operation targeting known violent felons and recently convicted persons prohibited from possessing firearms. 2) Increase the number of gun crime cases prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office by reaching out and having ongoing communication with law enforcement agencies and local prosecutors to ensure that all gun cases filter through the PSN Prosecution Subcommittee. 3) Mentor court-involved youth who have been arrested for a firearm charge or have been documented as a gang member. Appropriate youth with previous firearm offenses will be selected and linked with a caring role model who will help them re-enter society and provide ongoing guidance and support. 4) Distribute Southern District of California Prosecution Protocols to every local, state, and federal law enforcement agency. The PSN Law Enforcement Subcommittee will conduct 'train-the-trainer' workshops with representatives from all law enforcement agencies in the county. 5) Distribute a DVD about PSN to every local, state, and federal law enforcement agency. Each jurisdiction may use the DVD during roll calls, staff trainings, and special meetings to inform officers about PSN, local PSN efforts, Southern District of California specific Prosecution Protocols, and local gun prosecution procedures. 6) Conduct regional one-day firearms training sessions focused on federal firearms laws, firearms identification, and hidden firearms. The workshops will be attended by more than 150 officers each, and will focus on federal firearms laws, prosecution guidelines, and hidden compartments for guns. 7) Conduct train-the-trainer sessions on the PSN-developed youth gun crime and violence curriculum, EKG (Educating Kids About Guns), with more than 20 middle schools and after school programs. The EKG Team consists of a law enforcement officer, a deputy prosecutor, and a fire department or medical professional, and works to prevent youth gun violence by educating students about legal, medical, and emotional consequences of youth gun possession and gun violence. 8) Distribute PSN posters and PSN book covers. The PSN Juvenile Prevention/Intervention Subcommittee will work with local schools, community based organizations, law enforcement, and businesses to distribute 3,000 PSN gun crime reduction posters and 2,000 PSN book covers at selected school sites as well as recreation centers and police substations located in high crime/gang activity areas. 9) Secure billboard and bus stop space for PSN ads in San Diego, North County, East County, and South Bay. The Outreach Subcommittee will secure pro bono assistance from a local public relations/media firm and local billboard/bus stop companies to produce the national PSN print ad and display the ads on billboards and transit stops located in high gun crime/violence neighborhoods.