Local Law Enforcement and Communities Working Together to Stop Violent Crime and Make Their Neighborhoods Safer
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN –United States Attorney Andrew Birge announced today that the Department of Justice has allocated a total of over $192,082 to the Western District of Michigan Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) grant for the year 2020. The goal of the PSN program is to reduce and prevent violent crime by supporting a combination of community-based prevention programs and evidence-based law enforcement efforts in areas identified as the most at-risk through data collection and analysis.
A committee of local prosecutors and law enforcement chiefs from Battle Creek, Benton Harbor, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Muskegon/Muskegon Heights choose how to allocate the funds. The committee has focused on funding programs where law enforcement works with community members and non-governmental organizations to prevent violence, build strong community/law enforcement relations, and provide alternative opportunities and activities for those who might otherwise engage in violence. For example, last year the PSN grant funded an advocate to assist victims of violence and their families to navigate the justice system in Battle Creek; a community outreach worker to intercede with violent offenders on behalf of Kalamazoo’s innovative Group Violence Intervention program; and a series of midnight basketball tournaments in which Lansing Police Department members play alongside community members to help build positive relationships.
“With their choices on how to allocate the grant money, the committee of law enforcement leaders embrace a holistic, community partnership-building approach to reducing violent crime,” commented U.S. Attorney Birge.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan is committed to supporting local law enforcement, community organizations, and residents to reduce violent crime in our district. Senior Vice President Annette Chapman, of the Battle Creek Community Foundation, is the fiscal agent for the Western District of Michigan’s Project Safe Neighborhoods grant. Her dedication to the grant’s strategy, management, and community stakeholders is essential to the success of this program.