DOJ seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Washington

For Immediate Release

Thursday, November 30, 2017
Contact: (206) 553-4110

U.S. Attorney Announces New Grant to Expand Efforts to Combat Gun Violence

Additional Resources to Share Gun Intelligence and get Trigger Pullers Off the Streets

U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes announced today the expansion of the Project Safe Neighborhood program in the Puget Sound region, with additional focus on crime gun intelligence in South King and Pierce Counties. The U.S. Department of Justice awarded $500,000 to the program which will enhance intelligence sharing between law enforcement agencies so that guns used in crimes can be linked, helping law enforcement build cases for prosecution.

“Forensic tools from ATF, and intelligence sharing between law enforcement agencies have been key to identifying felons with guns who need to be off the street,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “In three of the cases we are highlighting today, the guns recovered have been tied to multiple shootings – in one case as many as 9 shots fired incidents in a short period of time. Combating gun violence is a top priority of the Justice Department and my office.”

The Project Safe Neighborhood grant provides funding for a Special Assistant United States Attorney to review every firearms case in King County to see if it is appropriate for federal prosecution. Grant money in 2017-2018 will provide for additional personnel to leverage the Gun Crime Intelligence Center to make connections between shooting incidents in south King and Pierce Counties. This information helps law enforcement identify, arrest and prosecute high-impact offenders.

“ATF is proud to partner with local law enforcement and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to bring the most advanced forensic science to the battle against gun crime,” said Darek Pleasants, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Seattle. “The National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms. Since the program’s inception in 1999 through 2016, NIBIN partners have captured approximately 2.8 million images of ballistic evidence and confirmed more than 74,000 NIBIN hits.”

Unveiled in May 2001, Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a comprehensive and strategic approach to gun law enforcement. PSN is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in America by networking both new and existing local programs that target gun crime and then providing them with the resources and tools they need to succeed. Implementation at the local level has fostered close partnerships between federal, state and local prosecutors and law enforcement.

Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Public Affairs Officer Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.langlie@usdoj.gov.

###

Field Division: Seattle Field Division