Cornyn, Colleagues Bill to Reauthorize Project Safe Neighborhoods Program Passes Senate
WASHINGTON– Today, U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Chris Coons (D-DE) released the following statements after the Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act, which would reauthorize a nationwide law enforcement program aimed at reducing violent crime, passed the Senate:
“As violent crime continues to impact neighborhoods across the country, the need to empower law enforcement to address these threats is urgent,” said Sen. Cornyn. “This grant program is proven to reduce violent crime by focusing law enforcement efforts on organized crime networks and repeat offenders, and I urge the House to send it to the President’s desk as soon as possible.”
“For the past two decades, Project Safe Neighborhoods has successfully enabled law enforcement officers to fight crime through local, state and federal collaboration,” said Sen. Grassley. “Reauthorizing this critical grant program will ensure communities receive the resources needed to reduce dangerous crime in our communities. The bill includes a provision I championed, named in honor of Jim Smith, a fallen Iowa State Patrol sergeant, to support multijurisdictional task forces to help law enforcement better serve our communities. These resources are especially important as we face a national violent crime wave, so I’m grateful for the Senate’s unanimous support for this program today.”
“Families in Michigan and around the U.S. deserve to live, work and raise their families in neighborhoods free of gun violence and drug crimes. Project Safe Neighborhoods uses proven, data-driven strategies to improve collaboration between law enforcement and community partners and has successfully reduced violent offenses in Michigan and across the country,” said Sen. Peters. “I’m proud the Senate has passed our important legislation to support this program and to ensure we keep working together to make our neighborhoods safer.”
“We’re helping keep Arizona communities safe through our Project Safe Neighborhoods program, which will reduce violence and protect communities by bringing together law enforcement partners at all levels to identify and address crime problems in our communities,” said Sen. Sinema.
“Crime continues to plague our cities across this great country, and it’s time for Congress to act,” said Sen. Tillis. “This legislation provides much-needed support to local law enforcement to combat crime and map overdose patterns in our communities. I applaud the Senate for passing this commonsense legislation to create safer neighborhoods for future generations.”
“Project Safe Neighborhoods provides crucial sources of funding for law enforcement agencies like the Dover Police Department to bring together stakeholders across the community and work to prevent violent crime with sound, research-driven strategies,” said Sen. Coons. “As co-Chair of the Senate Law Enforcement Caucus, I’m glad that the Senate has reauthorized Project Safe Neighborhoods.”
Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) were also cosponsors of the legislation, which was supported by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL).
Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide partnership between federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecutors that uses evidence-based and data-driven approaches to reduce violent crime. Under Project Safe Neighborhoods, multiple law enforcement agencies cooperate and focus their enforcement efforts on organized criminal networks and repeat offenders that are driving the crime rates in a particular region. Project Safe Neighborhoods also works to build trust and partnerships between law enforcement and the communities they serve through coordinated outreach, public awareness, innovative tactics, and collaborative interventions. Since its inception in 2001, Project Safe Neighborhoods has been successfully deployed by both Democratic and Republican administrations to reduce violent crime in large cities and smaller communities across the country. According to a Michigan State University study funded by the Department of Justice in 2013, Project Safe Neighborhoods was associated with a 13.1% decrease in violent crime in cities with a high rate of program participation—including double-digit reductions in total firearms crime and homicides in every city examined by the study. The 2018 authorization of the program passed the Senate unanimously.
Specifically, the Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act of 2022:
- Authorizes the Project Safe Neighborhoods Program for Fiscal Years 2023-2026 at $50 million—consistent with current appropriations levels.
- Requires participating entities to create and implement strategic plans to reduce violent crimes by focusing on criminal organizations and individuals responsible for increasing violence in a particular jurisdiction.
- Prioritizes the investigation and prosecution of individuals who have an aggravating or leadership role in a criminal organization.
- Strengthens evidence-based and data-driven intervention and prevention initiatives, including juvenile justice projects, street-level outreach, conflict mediation, the provision of treatment and social services, and improving community anti-violence norms.
- Reserves 30% of funding for established regional law enforcement task forces
- Allows funds to be used for the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program, evidence base programs to reduce gun crime and gang violence, community-based violence prevention initiatives, and violence education, prevention, and intervention programs.
The Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act of 2022 is supported by the Fraternal Order of Police, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, Sergeants Benevolent Association, National Association of Police Organizations, Major County Sheriffs of America, National District Attorneys Association, Major Cities Chiefs Association, Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies, and National Narcotic Officers’ Associations’ Coalition.