OJP Press Release letterhead

October 2, 2003
Contact: Sheila Jerusalem
or Joan LaRocca


     WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) announced that Florida will receive funds totaling $1,592,759 to implement their Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) strategy, which is part of a national program to target gun violence and violent crime in neighborhoods and communities across the country.

     As part of the Administration’s commitment of $901 million over three years, 94 Project Safe Neighborhoods task forces are working to implement the coordinated strategy to reduce gun violence. Administered by OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and led by the U.S. Attorney in each of the federal judicial districts, each local program is tailored to fit the unique gun crime problem in that district in five essential areas:

  • Promoting partnerships among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to review and prepare gun cases for prosecution;
  • Supporting strategic planning within all U.S. Attorney Offices for attacking gun crime and violence;
  • Providing more expansive and comprehensive training for law enforcement officers and prosecutors;
  • Developing community outreach and public awareness campaigns;
  • Evaluating effectiveness of plans and emerging trends in bi-annual reports to the United States Attorney General.

     “Project Safe Neighborhoods supports law enforcement efforts at every level to protect our citizens and hold criminals accountable, ” said Assistant Attorney General Deborah J. Daniels. “With these resources, jurisdictions throughout Florida will work to target gun crimes with more aggressive prosecutions, and promote community outreach. Efforts such as these will help to protect communities and neighborhoods all across the country.”

     Florida’s Middle District’s PSN funding will be used to locate and seize illegal guns, swiftly prosecute offenders of federal and state gun laws and prevent felons from having future access to guns. In addition, funds will be used to continue a public awareness campaign to communicate a “zero tolerance” position on the illegal possession of firearms and educate the public about the multiple and damaging effects of firearm violence on the community-at- large. For more information about Florida Middle District’s PSN initiatives contact Carl Kuttler with St. Petersburg College at 727-341-4502.

     In Florida's Northern District, PSN funding will be used for a variety of initiatives in Alachua, Escambia and Leon Counties, including educational programs for young people intended to reduce gun crime, illegal gun purchases, and gang violence. A public service announcement directed to middle school and high school students will be developed emphasizing that bringing weapons to school is a serious offense. In addition, funds will be used to conduct a public awareness campaign focused on firearm education and illegal gun use. For more information about Florida’s Northern District PSN initiatives contact Bonnie Rogers with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement at 850-410-8700.

     Detailed information about the PSN federal partnership, training and outreach opportunities is available on the PSN Web site at www.psn.gov.

     The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. OJP is headed by an Assistant Attorney General and comprises 5 component bureaus and 2 offices: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime, as well as the Executive Office for Weed and Seed, and the Office of Police Corps and Law Enforcement Education. Information about OJP programs, publications and conferences is available on the OJP Website, www.ojp.usdoj.gov.