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Justice Department launches National Public Safety Partnership with Anniston, Oxford police departments


Officials from the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Alabama, and the Anniston and Oxford Police Departments met in Oxford, Alabama, Thursday to formally initiate the National Public Safety Partnership (PSP) program with the Anniston and Oxford Police Departments.

“Today our team is on-site in Oxford, AL, to collaborate with local law enforcement officials in their mission to improve public safety and drive down violent crime,” said Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance Jon Adler. “Through the Public Safety Partnership, we are committed to fulfilling the Attorney General’s priority of supporting local law enforcement to combat violent gangs, felonious firearms use and drug trafficking.”

“The Public Safety Partnership will continue to make our communities more secure, our partnerships more robust, and our law enforcement agencies more impactful,” U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town said. “We look forward to surging our federal, state and local law enforcement partners into the Anniston and Oxford areas to reduce violent crime and to return these communities back to their rightful owners…the law-abiding citizens. State and federal prison beds have been reserved for the alpha criminals operating in Calhoun County…and we are coming.”

“Criminals respect no jurisdictional boundaries,” Anniston Police Chief Shane Denham said. “Through cooperation and aggressive pursuit and prosecution, we can make a difference in our region. The Anniston Police Department is looking forward to working together with our local and federal partners through this initiative. Together we can make a difference through the Public Safety Partnership initiative.”

“We are looking forward to working with our federal partners along with the East Metro Area Crime Center to drive down gun crimes and violent crime in general, this is a great partnership,” Oxford Police Chief Partridge said.

This Justice Department program is a three-year engagement that seeks to leverage department assets in support of a local jurisdictions’ commitment to drive down violent crime.

On June 3, 2019, Attorney General William Barr announced the selection of the Anniston and Oxford Police Departments as two of ten FY 2019 PSP sites where the Justice Department will work collaboratively to provide training and technical assistance in areas such as crime analytics, emerging technology and community engagement.

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Since 2017, the Justice Department has directed nearly $14.9 million in customized training and technical assistance to help build crime fighting capacity in PSP sites, including $6.6 million to support the FY 2019 sites through FY 2022. PSP seeks to bring law enforcement stakeholders together to work collaboratively in reducing violent crime attributed to felonious firearm use, drug trafficking and human trafficking.

Since 2017, the Justice Department has worked with more than 30 local jurisdictions under the nationwide PSP program. Many participating cities have already seen dramatic reductions in violent crime. New Orleans ended 2018 with 146 murders, for them that was the lowest number of murders since the early 1970s. In Milwaukee, homicides declined in 2018 for a third straight year after hitting a deadly peak in 2015.

Agencies attending this meeting will included: the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Alabama; the Office of Justice Programs; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the U.S. Marshals Service; the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; the Anniston Police Department; the Oxford Police Department; the Calhoun and Cleburne Counties District Attorney’s Office; the Talladega County District Attorney’s Office; Anniston Mayor Jack Draper’s Office; Oxford Mayor Alton Craft’s Office; Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office and the 7th Judicial Major Crimes Unit.

To learn more about PSP, visit their website.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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