The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently hosted a virtual summit to address increased gun violence impacting communities nationwide.
The two-day session established an assembly of more than 500 prosecutors, federal and local law enforcement officials, and community partners under the guidance of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) and the National Public Safety Partnership (PSP).
“The Justice Department’s strategy to disrupt violent crime is based on partnership: partnership among federal law enforcement agencies assisting in the fight against violent crime; partnership with the local communities facing the harm that violent crime causes them; and partnership with the state, local, Tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies protecting those local communities every day,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said. “Over the next two days, this summit will bring together our indispensable community and law enforcement partners from across the country to share best practices on disrupting violent crime and strengthen our coordinated efforts to keep our communities and our country safe.”
PSN and the National Public Safety Partnership are a pair of two DOJ spearheaded initiatives that balance enforcement efforts with community engagement.
The DOJ cited a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report determining found the firearm murder rate increased 35 percent from 2019 to 2020, adding counties with the highest poverty levels had 4.5 times the firearm homicide rate as counties with the lowest poverty levels.
The DOJ intends to select five additional jurisdictions to participate in the PSP to provide training, technical assistance, and other resources from the department’s enforcement and grantmaking components to address community violent crime challenges.