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From the Desk of BJA

March 2024
Kristie Brackens
Kristie Brackens

By Kristie Brackens, Senior Policy Advisor, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)

Coordinated by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ's) National Public Safety Partnership (PSP) helps communities experiencing significant violent crime challenges to strengthen their capacity to reduce crime. PSP provides an innovative framework of federal support that assists law enforcement and prosecution authorities in state, local, and tribal jurisdictions with enhancing public safety.

Since the program’s inception in 2014, PSP has engaged more than 60 community sites nationwide and offers coordinated training and technical assistance (TTA) during each site’s three-year commitment. The program model provides expertise through an assigned strategic site liaison and expedited delivery of assistance in eight core areas, including community engagement, crime analysis, technology, and criminal justice collaboration.

Through this program, BJA and DOJ provide data-driven, evidence-based strategies tailored to the unique local needs of participating cities. This allows jurisdictions of different sizes and needs to build capacity to address violent crime challenges. PSP support has enabled communities to enhance their crime analysis capacity and hire new crime analysts, invest in technology to analyze intelligence, generate data to identify case leads and violent criminal activity, focus resources on the people and places associated with high concentrations of crime, stand up real time crime centers, and invest in civilian subject matter experts.

Commitment to site support continues as sites develop projects initiated during their three-year engagement with PSP.  BJA provided $4 million in funding through the FY 2023 National Public Safety Partnership—Capacity Building Grant Limited Competition Grant Solicitation to nine communities that had completed at least two years in the PSP program. This funding gave these communities the necessary resources to implement both the PSP strategic plan goals and the recommendations from PSP assessments.

The PSP initiative supports BJA and DOJ’s goals of advancing work that promotes civil rights, increases access to justice, supports crime victims, protects the public from crime and evolving threats, and builds trust between law enforcement and the community.

In this issue of Justice Matters, we share two grantee stories that demonstrate the diversity of PSP strategies currently underway to:

  • Increase public safety through technology that helps first responders prevent crimes and respond rapidly to emergencies.
  • Provide individuals with a history of gun violence opportunities to change their lives through community support.

We hope that the stories in this issue inspire you and that you will be encouraged by these examples to apply for grant funding or training and technical assistance or apply to be a PSP site in the coming year.

For more information about PSP and guidance on implementing a PSP program, access PSP resources.

Read the March 2024 issue of Justice Matters.

Date Published: March 28, 2024