PHILADELPHIA, PA — Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams, City of Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw announced that the City of Philadelphia was designated by the Justice Department as one of ten new National Public Safety Partnership (PSP) sites that will work with the Department, local agencies and community organizations to reduce violence in areas with elevated crime rates. PSP is 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.
After decades of falling crime rates, many cities across the county, including Philadelphia, have seen a dramatic increase in violent crime rates. 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 ten new PSP sites is one facet of that strategy; the new sites are: Antioch, California; Aurora, Colorado; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Gary, Indiana; Louisville, Kentucky; North Charleston/Charleston, South Carolina; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Phoenix, Arizona; Richmond, Virginia; and Shreveport, Louisiana.
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.
“I am grateful to the Department of Justice for selecting Philadelphia to participate in the PSP program,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams. “PSP emphasizes the importance of law enforcement and community partnerships, essential factors to achieving comprehensive and sustainable approaches to Philadelphia’s violent crime epidemic and a theme we have repeated again and again this year. PSP, with its vast support and resources, joins a growing list of initiatives through which the federal government seeks to assist the Philadelphia Police Department in its mission to reduce and combat violent crime, including the ‘All Hands On Deck’ effort and the ATF’s NIBIN Mobile Unit. Please take heart, Philadelphia; we are continuing to fight and will turn the tide of violence.”
“We are pleased to announce that the Philadelphia Police Department has been selected to participate in the Department of Justice’s Public Safety Partnership. Public Safety is the responsibility of everyone—not just law enforcement. The PSP will not only assist the PPD in ensuring that implementing the latest best practices, but it will also aid with collaboration between the department and other stakeholders,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “This is a big win for our city, and it comes at no cost to our taxpayers.”
“I’m encouraged that Philadelphia was chosen to take part in the DOJ’s Public Safety Partnership—a program that will ensure the Philadelphia Police Department remains a leader in modern policing and will help protect our city,” said Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw. “As a learning organization, our department strives for best practices and equitable policing. PSP will help us improve our current practices, policies, and procedures so that our organization is in a better position to serve the community not just today, but far into the future.”
“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.”
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