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DOJ Grant Will Fund New Gang Deterrent Program For Southwest Georgia’s Youth

This is the second Project Safe Neighborhoods grant awarded in the Middle District

This is the second Project Safe Neighborhoods grant awarded in the Middle District

The City of Albany has been awarded a substantial federal grant to pay for public safety and educational programs geared toward young people, announced Charles “Charlie” Peeler, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia and Michael Persley, the Chief of Police for the Albany Police Department. The Department of Justice approved a $60,378 Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) grant for the City of Albany for the period of July 1, 2019 – June 20, 2020. The money will be used to fund three programs administered by APD, which include a new Juvenile Intervention Gang Deterrent counseling program, a new Youth Leadership Development program, and funding for the popular Teen Police Academy.

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“This grant is one component of our collaboration with Albany’s law enforcement community to support purposeful actions that contribute to the overall safety and well-being of our citizens,” said U.S. Attorney Charlie Peeler. “Project Safe Neighborhoods is the Justice Department’s initiative to reduce violent crime. One part of its approach is administering grants directly to local communities who know just where they can make the biggest impact. I am confident that these PSN funded programs will positively influence at-risk youth and, therefore, the entire community.”

“We are excited to be recipients of this Project Safe Neighborhoods grant and will use the funds to address some social service challenges that our juvenile population is facing. We will continue to partner with the Federal Government in the investigation, apprehension, and prosecution of the more dangerous persons within our community, however this opportunity gives us a chance to reach a segment of our juvenile population by doing intervention and prevention methods. We are thankful for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for partnering with us to help provide additional resources in our efforts to combat crime and the perception of crime in Albany,” said Michael Persley, Chief of Police.

Earlier this week, the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office (Macon, Georgia) made public their PSN grant award for the same time period in the amount of $44,640 to pay for a board-certified National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN) firearms examiner, training for the gang unit, ammunition, and general supplies for the in-house NIBIN system. This grant combines with a 2017 PSN grant in the amount of $200,000 that paid for the Bibb County S.O. Crime Lab’s NIBIN machines. This technology is the only interstate automated ballistic imaging network in the United States, making it possible for local law enforcement to search against evidence from across the country, improving the outcomes of criminal investigations. The NIBIN technology is considered a valuable tool by law enforcement in the effort to reduce gun crimes across the Middle District.

Project Safe Neighborhoods is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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