Alexander, Corker, Tanner, Blackburn, Cohen: Justice Department Announces Funding to Reduce Gun Related Crime in Shelby County

Posted on September 8, 2008

U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and U.S. Representatives John Tanner (D-Tenn. 8th), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn. 7th) and Steve Cohen (D-Tenn. 9th) today said that the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance has awarded the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office $112,418 in funding for Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). The PSN project is a coordinated effort between the District Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Memphis Police Department and other local law enforcement to crack down on illegal gun possession, gun-related crime and gang activity in the community. “I am pleased to see this money going to the greater Memphis area to fight crime,” Sen. Alexander said. “Project Safe Neighborhoods will help local law enforcement cut down on violent crime and gang activity so Memphians can enjoy a safer community.” “The Project Safe Neighborhood program in Shelby County leverages resources at all levels of government to take on gun related violence and gang activity in the Memphis area. As mayor of Chattanooga, we were able to cut violent crime in half and Project Safe Neighborhoods played a significant role in our success,” Sen. Corker said. “I will continue working to find ways the federal government can partner with the state of Tennessee to make our communities safer.” "This is an important tool to ensure community leaders and law enforcement officials have the resources they need to crack down on crime and help keep our neighborhoods safe," Congressman Tanner said. “Memphians deserve the kind of peace of mind that comes from knowing you are safe from violent crime,” Congressman Blackburn said. “The Project Safe Neighborhood program is a component to restoring that peace of mind for all Memphis neighborhoods. It is partnerships between federal assets and local authorities that will make a critical difference as Memphis moves forward.” “I am very pleased that the Department of Justice has awarded these monies to be used at the discretion of the Shelby County District Attorney General to reduce gun violence in our community,” said Congressman Cohen. “While the 9th District has made progress in reducing the number of guns on the street with stiffer penalties, we have a long way to go. This program will link existing local programs together and provide them with the necessary tools to get guns out of the hands of criminals and out of our neighborhoods. This Congress has made the eradication of violent crime in our cities a major priority,” said Congressman Cohen. “I will continue to fight for more funding for the 9th District to end gun violence and organized crime in Memphis. I thank the Department of Justice on behalf of the people of the 9th District for equipping our local law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to clean up our streets.” Through coordination between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, Project Safe Neighborhoods seeks to reduce gun crime nationwide by linking existing local programs and providing them with the necessary equipment, tools and support to be successful. The United States Attorney in each federal judicial district leads the offensive and a fiscal agent, working in coordination with the PSN Task Force, will allocate funds throughout the community. The Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office, serving as the fiscal agent for the Western District of Tennessee, will use these grant funds to pay for an anti-gang coordinator, vehicles and equipment to aid investigations and enforcement activities and attendance at the annual PSN conference. The grant announcement is attached. For more information about the PSN program visit: http://www.psn.gov/ ###