(Before It's News)
FORT WORTH, Texas – John Parker, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, and William Temple, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Dallas Field Division, joined Ken Shetter, President of One Safe Place (link is external), and Joel Fitzgerald, Fort Worth Chief of Police, at a press conference this morning to announce a $500,000 federal grant that has been awarded to One Safe Place to implement the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative in two Fort Worth neighborhoods.
PSN is a nationwide commitment to reduce gang and gun crime in the U.S. by networking existing local programs that target gun and gang crime and providing these programs with additional tools for success. PSN’s strategic approach brings more “science” into criminal justice operations by leveraging innovative applications of analysis, technology and evidence-based practices to improve performance and effectiveness while containing costs.
The grant is one of only seven half-million dollar grants awarded by the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs Bureau of Justice Assistance and funded under the 2016 Violent Gang and Gun Crime Reduction/Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative. This grant also addresses domestic violence, which, according to many statistics, is a major contributing factor for the increase in gun and violent crimes.
The funds from this grant will be specifically used in the Stop Six/Poly and the Las Vegas Trail Corridor in Fort Worth. Following this morning’s press conference, volunteers and neighborhood police officers with the Fort Worth Police Department will distribute door hangers in those neighborhoods. Each “Not on My Block” door hanger provides resources for reporting criminal activity, to include the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line phone number.
U.S. Attorney Parker said, “My office is committed to working side by side with the people who live in these neighborhoods, our partners at One Safe Place, and our partners in law enforcement to stop the destructive cycle of gun and gang violence that terrorizes our communities,” said U.S. Attorney John Parker. “This grant funding significantly enhances that effort in Fort Worth by providing additional tools for success.”
“With the additional grant funding for One Safe Place, another great step in the holistic approach in tackling the gun and gang problem that plagues many cities is taking place here in Fort Worth,” SAC Temple said. “It is through community based organizations working with law enforcement at every level that this problem can be addressed and make life better for our citizens.”
“As longstanding partners with One Safe Place in the effort to reduce violent crime in Tarrant County, we are extremely pleased the DOJ chose to fund their efforts to reduce gang and gun violence,” said Chief Fitzgerald. “We are steadfast in our commitment to meaningful partnerships in the community to make Fort Worth the safest large city in America. This grant award will certainly bring us closer to that reality.”
“PSN has helped ensure a very effective collaboration between local, federal and community based partners, which has reduced gun and gang violence in Fort Worth,” said Mr. Shetter. “Funding under the 2016 PSN Program will allow us to take this partnership to the next level, build on the knowledge and best practices that have already been developed, and target resources on hot spots for gun and gang violence. We are particularly excited that the One Safe Place strategy addresses domestic violence as a significant contributor to gun and gang violence in the community.”
One Safe Place, in collaboration with partner agencies, will use the new grant to focus on targeted enforcement, prevention, community outreach, and reentry programs, with an emphasis on interrupting the cycle of violence in order for communities to sustain crime reduction.