Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN)
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a nationwide program designed to create and foster safer neighborhoods through a sustained reduction in crime, including, but not limited to, addressing criminal gangs and the felonious possession and use of firearms. The program’s effectiveness depends upon the ongoing coordination, cooperation, and partnerships of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies—and the communities they serve—engaged in a unified approach led by the U.S. Attorney in each federal district. PSN provides the critical funding, resources, and training for law enforcement, prosecutors, and their PSN teams to combat violent crime and make their communities safer through a comprehensive approach that marries targeted law enforcement efforts with community engagement, prevention, and reentry efforts. The program is intended to be:
Comprehensive: Enforcement is a necessary and fundamental aspect of crime reduction programs. To have a lasting impact on violent crime reduction, however, it is important to pair critical enforcement efforts with “front-end” and “back-end” strategies—i.e., prevention, deterrence, and reentry efforts—to help reduce the number of people who participate in criminal activity or return to it after incarceration.
Coordinated: Programs that ensure coordination between enforcement, deterrence, and prevention efforts are more likely to succeed than those that do not. Additionally, all relevant local, state, federal, and community-based stakeholders must work cooperatively, and the approaches employed must be strategic and targeted.
Community-based: Any national crime reduction program must remain flexible so it can be implemented in a way that both responds to the specific problems of local jurisdictions and accounts for particular local capacities and resources.
The Role of the VACP in Project Safe NeighborhoodsThe VACP serves as the certified fiscal agent for the PSN grant program in the Eastern & Western Districts of Virginia. Congress appropriates funding for PSN for which each federal district applies. Monies awarded to a federal district are initially disbursed to the district’s fiscal agent, which in turn remits funds to sub-awardees.
VACP staff will review applications to assess whether they meet basic eligibility criteria. Thereafter, compliant applications will be forwarded to a grants review committee composed of non-conflicted individuals (i.e., individuals who are employed neither by the federal government nor by any prospective sub-awardee). The grants review committee, using a scoring and criteria system, will evaluate the applications to determine whether they should be approved and, if approved, whether funding should be allocated at the level requested or a lesser amount. Those decisions will be conveyed to VACP, which will notify applicants regarding the status of their applications and then execute the process of disbursing the sub-awards, which will entail coordination with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.
For information or assistance, contact VACP Executive Director Dana Schrad at email@example.com or (804) 338-9512 (cell).