OJP Press Release letterhead

October 14, 2003
Contact: Sheila Jerusalem
or Joan LaRocca


     WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) announced that Michigan will receive over $1.8 million to implement their Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) strategy, which is part of the Administration’s effort 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 Michigan 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.”

     The Eastern District of Michigan will use the funding to support law enforcement agencies involved in undercover investigations, intelligence sharing and a pro-active interaction with area businesses and residents to decrease gun violence and increase arrests and prosecutions. Community education programs will be conducted to encourage residents to invest in gun violence prevention initiatives. For more information about the Eastern District of Michigan’s initiatives contact Tamela Aikens with the Northwest Detroit Weed and Seed site at 313-794-5549.

     In the Western District of Michigan funding will be used to support the Battle Creek Police Department’s implementation of the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network database system to enable area law enforcement to process gun cases more effectively. The Kalamazoo Public Safety organization will collaborate with other agencies to identify and arrest those committing crimes using guns; will encourage citizens to report criminal behavior, and implement an educational program for adults and youth on gun-related offenses. The Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team will assist with investigations of gun cases and provide educational gun-oriented programs in schools. A web-based information clearinghouse will be implemented and conferences will be held for area law enforcement agencies and community interest groups. For more information about the Western District of Michigan’s initiatives contact William Crawley with Grand Valley State University at 616-331-7130.

     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.