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U.S. Department of Justice The Department represents the citizens of the United States in enforcing the law in the public interest and plays a key role in protection against criminals; ensuring healthy competition of business; safeguarding the consumer; enforcing drug, immigration, and naturalization laws; and protecting citizens through effective law enforcement.

On May 14, 2001, President George W. Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft unveiled Project Safe Neighborhoods, a new, comprehensive, strategic approach to the enforcement of firearm laws – an approach that targets gun crime and violent offenders in an effort to make our streets and communities safer. The Administration’s plan calls upon each United States Attorney to implement this national initiative by working in partnership with communities and state and local law enforcement agencies. The plan envisions an invigorated enforcement effort that either builds on the successful programs already in place or, through new resources and tools, creates effective gun violence reduction programs.

The Administration believes that tough and smart enforcement of existing state and federal gun laws will create a lasting reduction in gun crime and increase the safety and security of our citizens. The various crime reduction initiatives in the past decade have taught us that to have a truly significant impact, the federal government must do more than just increase its arrest and prosecution numbers. Our efforts must be comprehensive. To achieve this, we will present a united front with our national partners – the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), the International Chiefs of Police (IACP), the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). We must also build effective partnerships with our state and local counterparts. We must enhance our capacity to obtain and analyze crime and other data that should guide our strategies and afford us the opportunity to measure the impact of our efforts. We must maintain an edge in the attack on gun violence by providing expansive and comprehensive training for federal, state, and local law enforcement officers and prosecutors. We must convey the priorities, message, and results of our efforts to the media and community members. And we must build a powerful and lasting coalition with our citizens – one that empowers them to be agents of change in their own communities. Project Safe Neighborhoods is that comprehensive approach. For more information about the Department of Justice, please go to www.usdoj.gov.

To learn more about current funding opportunities, go to www.ojp.usdoj.gov/BJA/.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) is a law enforcement agency within the U.S. Department of Justice. ATF enforces the federal laws and regulations relating to alcohol, tobacco products, firearms, explosives, and arson.

ATF's Office of Training and Professional Development has designed a comprehensive package of training and training aids to support the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative.  A CD-ROM containing four separate lesson plans (Firearms Identification; Firearms Tracing; Legal Issues and Gun Violence; and Where Do Crime Guns Come From?) and associated PowerPoint presentations have recently been completed and distributed to every field division.  This CD-ROM has been developed to assist ATF field offices in delivering uniform training to state and local law enforcement in support of the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative.  It is intended that an ATF special agent or other experienced firearm investigator, utilizing this lesson plan, can be a resource for U.S. Attorney’s Offices that may wish to design training opportunities in support of Project Safe Neighborhoods at a local or regional level.

ATF has also partnered with the IACP, NDAA, and NCPC in delivering PSN Enforcement Training. The goal of this training is to improve the level of crime gun interdiction and prosecution through a multi-disciplinary approach that emphasizes team building among the course participants: Assistant U.S. Attorneys, state and local prosecutors, state and local police officers and sheriffs, and ATF special agents.  The course has three tracks (1) a three-day training for federal and local line prosecutors, investigators and ATF special agents; (2) an Executive Breakout Sessions for decision makers to begin designing the best possible system for their region to implement PSN; (3) and a one-day course for street officers on firearms identification and the characteristics of armed gunmen.  In addition, ATF’s Office of Training and Professional Development offers support for local or regional PSN training efforts, providing a wide variety of training materials, handouts, lesson plans, or even speakers and blocks of instruction that can be incorporated into a local program.  For more information about the ATF, please go to www.atf.gov.

International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) The International Association of Chiefs of Police is the world's oldest and largest nonprofit membership organization of police executives, with over 19,000 members in over 100 different countries. IACP's leadership consists of the operating chief executives of international, federal, state, and local agencies of all sizes.

IACP is a not-for-profit organization of over 19,000 members from the world’s law enforcement community.  In operation for more than a century, the association has as its mission to lead and support the efforts of police administrators around the world in advancing the science and art of police services; to enhance cooperation among all police administrators; to bring about the best possible recruitment and training of qualified persons into the police profession while adhering to the highest professional standards of conduct; and to provide quality products and services to enhance membership and marketing of IACP programs.

Some acclaimed programs that can trace their origins to IACP include the FBI Identification Division and the Uniform Crime Records system.  IACP also provided initial support for the national use of fingerprint identification, partnered in a consortium on community policing, and, in conjunction with the FBI, established the FBI National Academy for state and local police. 

Current areas of focus include statewide criminal justice information systems, weapons in schools, enforcing orders of protection, use of force, technical assistance for smaller police agencies, the future of women in policing, and police liability.For the past five years, through funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, IACP has been delivering Crime Gun Interdiction Technical Assistance to law enforcement agencies across the nation.

IACP fully supports Project Safe Neighborhoods, and passed a resolution at the 107th Annual Conference in October 2001 endorsing this initiative.  IACP is a partner in the development and delivery of the new Project Safe Neighborhoods Enforcement Training, which facilitates the development of aggressive and successful gun interdiction programs in local jurisdictions across the country. please go to www.theiacp.org.

National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) is a private, nonprofit tax-exempt [501(c)(3)] organization whose primary mission is to enable people to create safer and more caring communities by addressing the causes of crime and violence and reducing the opportunities for crime to occur.  NCPC publishes books, kits of camera-ready program materials, posters, and informational and policy reports on a variety of crime prevention and community-building subjects.  NCPC offers training, technical assistance, and a national focus for crime prevention: it acts as secretariat for the Crime Prevention Coalition of America, more than 4,000 national, federal, local, and state organizations committed to preventing crime.  It hosts a number of Web sites that offer prevention tips to individuals, describe prevention practices for community building, and help anchor prevention policy into laws and budgets.  It also operates demonstration programs in schools, neighborhoods, and entire jurisdictions and takes a major leadership role in youth crime prevention and youth service; it also administers the Center for Faith and Service.  NCPC manages the McGruff Take A Bite Out Of Crime public service advertising campaign.  NCPC is funded through a variety of government agencies, corporate and private foundations, and donations from private individuals.

NCPC has been tasked by the U.S. Department of Justice to provide the community outreach element of Project Safe Neighborhoods. NCPC will draw upon its extensive work with community groups, law enforcement organizations, and government agencies to provide comprehensive materials and resources that can be localized, coupled with training for all of the nation’s 94 U.S. Attorney districts, assisting their implementation of PSN community outreach. Specifically, NCPC produced a PSN tool kit of composed of informational brochures, videos, related literature/research, and media messages from federal districts. All of the components of the tool kit are included on the PSN Web site.

NCPC also provides materials and assistance for all U.S. Attorney districts to engage in a media campaign focused on keeping the issues of gun violence and crime prevention in the public eye.  Messages will be created for PSN on the national level and for local district tagging. A variety of newspaper articles, newspaper editorial board meetings, TV and radio news stories, satellite broadcasts, and outdoor advertising will be included in the year-long campaign, released on the national level, and supported with materials and stories. NCPC will encourage developing public/private partnerships to help foster engaging all community sectors in the fight against gun violence.

In partnership with ATF, IACP, and NDAA, NCPC will facilitate a process by which districts will develop or enhance an integrated system of dealing with gun crime and violence as part of the PSN Enforcement Training course. NCPC coordinates the executive breakout sessions of this training for key law enforcement decision-makers as they design a comprehensive strategic systems-wide approach of dealing with gun crime and violence in their districts.  For more information about NCPC, please go to www.ncpc.org.

National District Attorneys Association (NDAA)

In 1951, the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) was founded.  NDAA is comprised of 2800 elected District Attorney Offices, representing the interests of state and local prosecutors across the country.  These District Attorneys, America's prosecutors, are the people's attorneys.  NDAA's mission is "to be the voice of America's prosecutors and to support their efforts to protect the rights and safety of the people."  NDAA is the nation's largest, primary and most influential organization of prosecuting attorneys and is deeply involved in the formulation of policies and laws that affect local prosecutors.

In 1984, NDAA founded the American Prosecutors Research Institute (APRI) as a non-profit research, training, and technical assistance resource for prosecutors at all levels of government.  NDAA, through APRI, has become a vital resource and national clearinghouse for information on the prosecutorial function.  NDAA and its APRI affiliate are committed to providing interdisciplinary responses to the complex problems of criminal justice.  They are also committed to supporting the highest professional standards among officials entrusted with crucial responsibilities for public safety.

NDAA has assembled a multi-disciplinary staff to meet these demands.  The staff includes veteran prosecutors and researchers.  Access to comprehensive justice, medical and scientific data resources, including a nationwide network of working prosecutors, ensures that information provided by NDAA is up to date, grounded in practicality, and accurate.  NDAA staff also conducts research and training on a broad spectrum of criminal justice issues that are of interest to prosecutors.  This ranges from assessing the impact of new legislation on the prosecutor's office, to the effectiveness of various programs and sentencing alternatives, to office management and organizational issues.

NDAA  supports the nation's state and local prosecutors in their efforts to reduce gun violence in neighborhoods and communities across the country.  To achieve this goal, NDAA will develop and deliver a training program for the new local PSN prosecutors reflecting state of the art knowledge about effective gun violence reduction strategies; provide ongoing technical assistance to prosecutors participating in PSN, including production and dissemination of new tools and materials to support prosecutors in their work; and contribute to training programs offered by other federal and national PSN partners.

NDAA, through its APRI affiliate, will educate prosecutors about the comprehensive gun initiatives already developed by a number of jurisdictions across the country as well as best practices and the nuts and bolts of developing their own gun prosecution strategies.  NDAA will also develop a training curriculum for local prosecutors on how to prosecute gun cases, including evidentiary issues, best charges and state and federal gun laws.  NDAA will design the agenda, invite speakers and participants, and prepare materials for distribution.

NDAA's training on gun violence reduction and prevention for the front-line prosecutors, who handle more than 99% of the violent crime cases in the country, not only provides a collaborative relationship with their federal counterparts, but also guarantees that participating prosecutors will have comparable knowledge on how to reduce gun crime in their communities.  NDAA will utilize its staff of seasoned local prosecutors as well as other faculty drawn from existing gun violence reduction programs for its curriculum.  Please visit www.ndaa.org for more NDAA information.

Michigan State University

Under a grant from the National Institute of Justice, the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University (MSU) is working with the Department of Justice to support Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN).  The specific focus of the MSU project is to assist PSN task forces implement a strategic problem-solving model based on data-driven strategy development and revision.  Strategic problem solving is designed to allow PSN task forces to most effectively target resources at locally specific firearms crime problems.  The problem-solving model also includes an ongoing assessment and feedback component to assist PSN task forces in modifying strategies to continually enhance strategic interventions.  The overall goal of the strategic problem-solving model, consistent with PSN, is to reduce the level of firearms violence in communities across the country.

Project ChildSafe

Project ChildSafe is a nationwide program whose purpose is to promote safe firearms handling and storage practices among all firearms owners through the distribution of key safety education messages and free gun locking devices.

Project ChildSafe partners with governors, lieutenant governors, U.S. Attorneys, community leaders and law enforcement to distribute free safety kits to gun owners in all states in order to promote safe storage of firearms in the home.

Project Weed & Seed

Project Weed & Seed, a U.S. Department of Justice program initiated in 1991, pursues two goals: to reduce violent crime by "weeding out" criminals who perpetrate such crime, and to foster community building by "seeding" crime-ridden areas with social services and resources to help residents combat poverty, crime, drug abuse, and violence. Weed & Seed often partners with PSN because the two programs share complementary objectives. The prosecutorial focus of PSN supports Weed & Seed's goal of removing criminals from the streets, and the community contacts fostered by Weed & Seed help PSN communicate the consequences of illegal gun use to targeted communities. PSN and Weed & Seed partnerships have also resulted in greater coordination in planning, personnel use, resource allocation, and information sharing.

Weed & Seed has grown from three initial sites to include more than 200 target areas nationwide. These sites use a variety of methods both to reduce and to provide alternatives to violent crime. Check out What's Happening at Weed & Seed.



 
 
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