This week, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) introduced the Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act of 2022 to reauthorize a nationwide law enforcement program focusing on the reduction of violent crime.
"We are seeing an increase in crime across our country, and Congress needs to act,"
said Senator Tillis. "This legislation provides much-needed support to local law enforcement to combat crime and map overdose patterns in our communities. I am proud to work on this commonsense legislation to create safer neighborhoods for future generations."
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. 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 crime and gang violence, community-based violence prevention initiatives, and violence education, prevention, and intervention programs.
- Improves communities' ability to respond to opioid overdoses by promoting the hiring and training of law enforcement officials and data analysts to swiftly investigate and identify drug dealers connected to overdoses.
The following organizations support Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act of 2022: 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.