U.S. Attorney Adair F. Boroughs announced in a news release that the Department of Justice has awarded more than $1.8 million to support the Project Safe Neighborhoods Program in the District of South Carolina.
Funding will support community efforts to address the epidemic of gun crime and serious violence in the district. The grants, to Barnwell County, Cheraw, Dillon, North Myrtle Beach, Travelers Rest and Williamston, are part of a number of awards being made to state and local agencies across the country. Funds are administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, part of the Department’s Office of Justice Programs.
Launched two decades ago as an evidence-based and community-oriented response to serious gun crime, Project Safe Neighborhoods, known as PSN, is a key component of the Department’s Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Violent Crime, outlined by Deputy Attorney General Monaco in May 2021. The PSN approach is guided by four key principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities; supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place; setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities; and measuring the results of our efforts. The fundamental goal is to reduce violent crime, not simply to increase the number of arrests or prosecutions.
“These funds are essential to allow our local law enforcement entities to build deeper partnerships with their communities,” Boroughs said in the release. “When community leaders and law enforcement officials work together, they can focus on shared priorities, identify the most violent offenders, and address the root causes of violence in those communities. These community partnerships are the cornerstone of our violent crime reduction efforts because, quite simply, they work.”
“Reducing violence and sustaining those reductions will require strong partnerships between criminal justice agencies and community stakeholders and a shared commitment to the safety and well-being of every community member,” said OJP Deputy Assistant Attorney General Maureen Henneberg. “The investments we are making through Project Safe Neighborhoods will enable every stakeholder to play a part in building safer and healthier communities.”
PSN programs are led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in collaboration with local public safety agencies and community organizations. The programs’ emphasis on community engagement, prevention and intervention measures, focused and strategic enforcement, and measurement and accountability has helped achieve overall reductions in violent crime, including gun homicides, in neighborhoods where PSN strategies have been implemented.
“Over its two-decade history, Project Safe Neighborhoods has evolved to meet the complex challenges of community violence by enlisting the insights and expertise of local partners and by relying on the latest evidence,” said BJA Director Karhlton F. Moore. “We are proud to support our U.S. Attorneys and their allies in their critical work to curb violent crime and build the mutual trust necessary to ensure lasting success.”
The awards announced above are being made as part of the regular end-of-fiscal year cycle. More information about awards under PSN and other OJP grants can be found on the OJP Grant Awards Page.
The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, advance racial equity in the administration of justice, assist victims and enhance the rule of law. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.