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Operation Safe Community: Data Driven Strategies to Address Violent and Gang Crime

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $1,000,000)

The Congressionally Selected Awards Program, authorized by the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 (Pub. L. 111-8), helps improve the functioning of the criminal justice system, prevent or combat juvenile delinquency, and/or assist victims of crime (other than compensation). Funds should be used for the projects selected by Congress, in the amounts specified in the joint explanatory statement incorporated by reference into Pub. L. 111-8, and generally consistent with one or more of the following statutory purposes: improving the functioning of the criminal justice system, preventing or combating juvenile delinquency, or assisting victims of crime (other than compensation). Each of these purposes is framed using language drawn, respectively, from the former Byrne discretionary statute, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, the Victims of Crime Act, and the Violence Against Women Act. This project is authorized and funded through a line item in the FY 09 Congressional Budget and by the joint explanatory statement that is incorporated by reference into the FY09 Omnibus Appropriations Act.

The University of Memphis will use fiscal year 2009 Congressionally Selected Award funds to work on combining resources with Shelby County, the City of Memphis, and the State District Attorney General to deal with growing violent and gang crime. Operation Safe Community (OSC) is a crime abatement initiative developed by top government and law enforcement leaders across Shelby County in partnership with private sector and community-based leaders. In order to accomplish the OSC's main goal of reducing violent and gang crime the following goals need to be met: 1) maintain support for crime analysis by the Center for Community Criminology and Research; 2) provide data analysis and research supporting gang reduction efforts in Shelby County; 3) coordinate youth violence and gang prevention and intervention efforts in Shelby County; 4) enhance information collection and analysis to further intelligence led policing to reduce crime in Shelby County; 5) expand the Shelby County Sheriff's Office capacity to effectively serve ex parte Orders of protection; and 6) extend the communications campaign launched to deter violent crime.

Grant funds will be used to provide analytic support for Memphis Police Department's (MPD) Blue CRUSH (Crime Reduction Using Statistical History) Strategy, provide analytic support for other law enforcement agencies in Shelby County adopting data-driven policing strategies. Funds will also be used to: provide research support to the Gang Reduction Assistance for Saving Society's Youth (G.R.A.S.S.Y.) strategy being implemented by Memphis City Schools; provide research support for the Safeways strategy in Memphis and Shelby County; provide research support for the Memphis Drug Market Initiative (DMI); coordinate community gang prevention programming in support of GRASSY; coordinate community resources for support of Safeways and Memphis DMI; expand investigative surveillance and tracking capacity at the Memphis Police Department to target serious repeat offenders and organized crime, especially gang organizations; enhance officer safety during police operations involving serious repeat offenders and organized crime, especially gang organizations; provide advanced training for MPD investigators on surveillance and tracking equipment; deploy additional cars equipped with Automated License Plate Readers in areas with concentrations of repeat offenders and gang organizations; expand the Shelby County Sheriff's Office Mobile AFIS capability; and continue implementation of the PSN Communications Campaign.


Date Created: September 20, 2009