What Project Safe Neighborhoods is about

The Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative was recognized in 2001 and has since grown significantly and is a national effort. It’s a government funding program to stop violent crime, focusing on gun and gang-related crimes.

As a part of the PSN program, the 94 U.S. Attorney districts get cash to support a coordinated effort to combat the most pressing violent crime issue in their respective areas.

To create and maintain secure communities, funds will be used to address issues such as gangs and illegal guns ownership and usage, but not limited to those. Each U.S. Attorney has created a district PSN workgroup, which has prepared a PSN strategic plan that outlines financial objectives for the 2018 grant.

U.S. Attorneys in Iowa has designated the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP) as the financial agent for the PSN program.

Initiative Aimed Of Program

As a result of PSN’s support, law enforcement and prosecutors can battle severe crime and make their society safer by combining focused law enforcement operations with citizen engagement, prevention, and reintegration programs. The program’s goal is to:


Crime reduction plans must include enforcement as a critical component. Violent crime reduction requires a combination of front- and back-end tactics, such as prevention, deterrent, and reintegration activities, to assist lower the number of criminals who engage in criminal behavior or return to criminal activity following release from jail, respectively.


Those programs that provide cooperation between enforcement, deterrent, and preventive activities are more likely to succeed than those not. It’s also critical that all key parties from the federal government to the local community-based organizations work together in a coordinated effort.


The implementation of any national crime reduction program must be flexible to tailor to the individual needs of local jurisdictions while also considering local resources and capabilities.

Key Elements Of A PSN Initiative

PSN’s task group will target America’s most dangerous communities to execute the five design characteristics of PSN. These PSN design characteristics are expected to be implemented in FY2021. These features are included in all PSN programs:


Leadership The United States Attorneys, working with state, tribal law enforcement, and local, must take the lead in establishing and executing a crime-reduction program to assist local law enforcement in dealing with violent crime issues.


Working together with a wide variety of involved stakeholders is essential to reducing violence in communities. With the help of federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement, the United States Attorney will identify the most pressing violent crime issues in the district.

It designs a coordinated attack plan and uses all resources available, including current task forces and programs. The effectiveness of these crime-fighting activities depends on the community’s support, and strong collaborations should involve community organizations and advocates for victims.

Additionally, law enforcement or academic research institutions may be of considerable value in directing enforcement efforts toward the most violent criminals.

Targeted And Prioritized Enforcement:

Violent crime is reduced the most when authorities concentrate their efforts on a specific area. Technology and data advancements have also made it easier to identify enforcement priorities.

When it comes to reducing violent crime in a district, every enforcement operation should use all available technology and information to identify those places and the criminals who are generating that violence. Prosecutors then need to focus on those criminals who are most likely to face the most severe punishment.

We will send a clear message to safeguard our communities from those who choose to harm them by employing the most effective law enforcement tools and procedures to detect and punish the most dangerous criminals.


The PSN program demands a comprehensive perspective to violence reduction that includes preventive and deterrent measures as well as enforcement. Community leaders and people must be able to communicate effectively about how law enforcement actions are reducing crime and increasing public safety, as well as the concerns of the community.

The PSN also supports cooperation with local prevention and reintegration programs that may assist decrease violent crime by preventing at-risk populations (particularly at-risk kids) from committing in the first place.


The PSN must ensure accountability by monitoring outcomes based on the decrease in violent crime, as well as the number of investigations and prosecutions that are conducted. The effectiveness of the PSN is ultimately judged by the decrease in violent crime, particularly felonious firearm ownership and usage and criminal gang violence.

Even while all five components of Project Safe Neighborhoods are critical to its success, this article will concentrate mainly on Strategic Planning/Strategic Problem Solving. This strategic problem-solving paradigm will be addressed about the other aspects and tactics.

With the help of federal resources and the collaboration of local residents, each PSN site creates a unique strategy for reducing violent crime that is tailored to the specific needs of the local community.

How Did Project Safe Neighborhood Help With Neighborhood Crime?

For decades, violent crime has been reduced due to the PSN policy. It has become clear from research into prior crime reduction efforts that a complete strategy is required for meaningful and long-term results. Successful cooperation between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve is the goal of PSN’s program.

It improves the ability of communities to gather and evaluate timely crime and other data to guide plans and monitor the effectiveness of their efforts. Prosecutors and law enforcement officers from all levels of government may benefit from PSN’s extensive training and assistance for the fight against crime.

In addition, PSN offers assistance in conveying the priorities, message, and outcomes to the media and the public. An effective partnership with residents is essential to creating a practical and durable coalition that empowers them to make their neighborhoods safer.

Grant Assistance From The PSN

PSN was founded in 2001 and has received grant financing from the federal government on a number of occasions. PSN money was awarded to the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office in 2017 after a competitive request, with the funding set to expire in June 2020.

Funding was transferred to a formula grant in financial years 2018 and 2019, with the District of Massachusetts receiving $645,792 and $326,611, respectively, during those years. Formula grant financing is administered by OGR on account of the PSN Interagency Leadership Team and aims to achieve these goals:

  • Police safety and community perceived safety may be improved in PSN cities by providing law enforcement with resources to purchase equipment, software, technology, or services;
  • Preventive and intervention programs and activities should be implemented in particular places where violent organizations are recruiting to strengthen the protective factors of kids and their families.
  • Enhance the knowledge and abilities of law enforcement professionals via training.
  • To encourage a nonviolent way of life, deploy a multi-media PSA campaign created by teenagers.

What Is The Purpose Of The PSN’s Problem-Solving Component?

PSN’s strategic planning and problem-solving component were created to assist jurisdictions in customizing PSN to their specific needs. PSN donated funding for a research partner to be included in the study.

PSN Task Force would collaborate with a research partner to analyze the local gun crime situation to design a proactive gun crime reduction strategy. Research partners would also help in the continuous review of the program’s execution, offer comments to the task force, and evaluate the project.

The Negative Effects Of Project Safe Neighborhoods

Recent research conducted by Ben Grunwald and Andrew V. Papachristos examined the long-term effects of PSN in Chicago after it had been in place for more than a decade. However, contrary to common opinion, prior research concluded that the outcomes of the program’s effectiveness were insignificant.

Murderers were lowered during the early years of the program’s introduction, but like with previous Chicago anti-violence measures, the reductions “may have evaporated with time,” according to the research.

This new system enabled both federal and municipal prosecutors to analyze gun cases, which helped the city update the prosecution of firearms offenses in state and federal courts. The objective of this policy was to promote deterrence by enforcing stricter punishments in federal courts.

As a result of the new gun control strategies, rather than waiting for police enforcement to respond to firearms crimes, a proactive “gun squad” was formed to look into gun transactions and trafficking and lawfully collect firearms where required.

Police officers from both the state and federal levels were able to interact with criminals who had previously engaged in gun violence or gang activities via the use of notification forums. Officials will warn offenders about the increased criminal penalties associated with PSN, while ex-offenders will talk about the difficulties of re-entry and the need for less violence.

These tactics were influential in the short term, resulting in the desired outcome. PSN had an influence on the 11th and 15th congressional districts on Chicago’s west side, according to previous research by Papachristos et al.

According to the report, a 37 percent decline in murders was seen in areas with PSN initiatives, which was connected with an increase in federal cases, an increase in the number of weapons seized, and an increase in participation at criminal notification forums.

According to their most recent follow-up research, “qualified criminals who participated in a forum spent less time in jail than those who did not participate.”

The Process Of Addressing A Local Issue

As recently as the mid-1990s, a paradigm change started to occur. The National Institute of Justice, notably Lois Felson Mock, helped us witness active and continuing collaborations between scholars and law enforcement organizations.

Some local difficulties were being solved thanks to the research procedure. It’s broken down into four steps:

  • Use of data to find and understand the root causes of issues
  • Analysis of strategic options in order to focus specific initiatives
  • Observation and evaluation of the program to improve it
  • Analyzing the results

In FY2018, PSN was reclassified as a formula-funded program once again. The recovery caused an increased demand for training and technical support. MSU joined forces with other TTA providers to better serve the country as part of a more significant partnership.

The PSN Toolkit

As a part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, the Department of Justice has produced a toolkit website for U.S. attorneys. This page includes program-specific resources and information, such as program implementation instructions, monitoring information, research, and statistics, promising practices, and more.

Training and technical assistance (TTA) are essential components of PSN’s success. The PSN TTA website provides more information on the various support services for PSN activities.


To assist the PSN task forces in San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and San Diego, RAND provides research and strategic planning support. Increasing task force capability in designing data-driven strategies to reduce firearms-related crime is the purpose of this program’s objectives.

It enhances the long-term capabilities of federal, state, and local authorities to work together to study, prosecute, and prevent assault rifle violent crime in their areas. CWP

Community Watch Paper posts:

Economic And Social Effects Of Crime On Community

Strategies To Reduce Crime In Neighborhoods


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