Shreveport Police Department Chosen as Participant in Partnership with U.S. Department of Justice to Help Reduce Violent Crime in Shreveport
SHREVEPORT, LA (STL.News) Acting United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook has announced that the City of Shreveport Police Department has been chosen to participate in the National Public Safety Partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). Acting United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook, along with Interim Shreveport Police Chief Wayne Smith, Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins, and Caddo District Attorney James Stewart held a press conference today to provide details about the announcement.
The Justice Department announced the 10 new National Public Safety Partnership (PSP) sites that will work with the Department of Justice, local agencies and community organizations to reduce violence in areas with elevated crime rates. PSP serves as a Justice Department- wide initiative that enables communities to receive coordinated training and technical assistance and an array of resources from the Department’s programmatic and law enforcement components. In addition to Shreveport, Louisiana, the 10 sites include: Antioch, California; Aurora, Colorado; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Gary, Indiana; Louisville, Kentucky; North Charleston/Charleston, South Carolina; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Phoenix, Arizona; and Richmond, Virginia.
“The acceptance into this partnership has taken a long time and the involvement of many before the current administration,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook. “Violent crime in the Shreveport area has grown despite the Herculean efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement to combat it. The assistance that will be given through this partnership to the Shreveport Police Department will equip our officers and city leaders to combat these growing trends and help to curtail the continued increase of crime.”
“Violence – gun violence in particular – has taken a heavy toll on communities across the country, and its impact has been felt most deeply in neighborhoods where resources have always been scarce and justice has historically been elusive,” said Amy L. Solomon, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs, whose Bureau of Justice Assistance administers the PSP initiative. “We are proud to join local leaders and our partners from across the Department of Justice as we work together to stem the tide of violent crime in these hard-hit communities.”
“From five to now 50 jurisdictions in seven years, PSP has taught the Department a new way to work with communities. We have learned that it is only by leveraging the power of community and using all our collective resources and dedicating all our efforts that we will reduce crime,” said BJA Acting Director Kristen Mahoney. “We look forward to partnering with the 10 new sites to achieve what we are all working toward—safe places to live and work.”
After decades of falling crime rates, statistics show that in many cities across the county violent crime increased in 2020. To address the increase in violence, specifically gun violence, on May 26, 2021, the Attorney General announced the Department’s new Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Violent Crime. The addition of 10 new PSP sites is one prong in that strategy. The PSP program began as a pilot in 2014 and was formally adopted by the Department as an intensive training and technical assistance protocol in June 2017. Sites must apply to participate. To be considered for selection, a site must have sustained levels of violence that far exceed the national average and demonstrate a commitment to reducing crime and enhancing community engagement.
More than 40 cities have participated in PSP in prior cohorts. The primary participating Justice Department components include the Office of Justice Programs; the Office on Violence Against Women; the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; and the U.S. Marshals Service.
The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, advance racial equity in the administration of justice, assist victims and enhance the rule of law.
In addition to leadership from local and federal partners, DOJ dedicates specific individuals to support each PSP site throughout the three-year engagement, to include a retired law enforcement executive, a DOJ Program Office Champion to serve as the point of contact for the site, federal law enforcement partners, and a program advisor. PSP federal law enforcement partners include the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and U.S. Marshals Service (USMS).