Justice Department Honors Nonprofit Better Block for “Outstanding Community Involvement” in PSN | USAO-NDTX

The U.S. Department of Justice has recognized Dallas-based nonprofit Better Block for its support of the U.S. Attorney’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Initiative, announced U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. The Better Block Foundation, launched in 2015 by Jason Roberts, was the sole recipient of DOJ’s “Outstanding Community Involvement” PSN award, which recognizes outstanding efforts to restore safety and security to communities across the nation.

“I’m incredibly proud of my office’s partnership with Better Block. Project Safe Neighborhoods relies on innovative solutions to reduce violent crime – a philosophy Better Block embraces as well, ” said U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. “I congratulate Jason, Krista, and the Better Block staff on this honor. We look forward to continuing our important work with them to protect and enrich this neighborhood.”

Project Safe Neighborhoods, DOJ’s signature violent crime reduction initiative, brings together state, local, and federal law enforcement, nonprofits, and community stakeholders to surge resources to cities’ most violent communities. Using sophisticated data analysis, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas zeroed in on a hotspot in Northeast Dallas, near the intersection of Route 75 and LBJ Freeway, then convened a PSN Taskforce to address it. The Task Force combines traditional law enforcement activities — patrolling struggling neighborhoods, apprehending violent offenders, and bringing them to justice through the courts – with innovative approaches like recidivism reduction and community engagement to make a difference in hard-hit areas.

In fall 2019, the PSN Task Force partnered with Better Block to transform a blighted intersection inside the PSN hotspot into a vibrant community plaza with updated lighting, container gardens, playground equipment, and a popup lending library. The colorful plaza – funded through PSN grants and donations from TBK Bank – quickly became a gathering place for families from the community and nearby Tasby Middle School.

A prime example of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), the project has had an outsized impact: The intersection, once riddled with criminal activity, has not seen a single violent crime since the plaza was erected over a year ago.

The plaza is located at the Five Points Intersection in Dallas’ Vickery Meadow. Photos of the plaza are available here. More information on the Northern District of Texas’ PSN initiative can be found here.

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Author: Editor
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