This report presents a case study on specific strategic interventions that have been implemented through Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN) in the city of Lowell in the PSN District of Massachusetts.
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is an initiative developed by the U.S. Department of Justice to combat gun crime. PSN consists of a network of local partnerships coordinated through the Nation's 94 U.S. Attorneys' Offices and supported by a strategy that provides them with the resources they need to be successful in reducing gun crime. The PSN initiative integrates five essential elements from successful gun crime reduction programs: partnerships, strategic planning, training, outreach, and accountability. This report presents an overview of the PSN initiative and focuses specific discussion on the PSN task force that operates in the city of Lowell in the PSN District of Massachusetts. The task force consists of the PSN coordinator and Federal prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's Office; local law enforcement including Lowell Police Department detectives; Federal law enforcement personnel from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; county prosecutors; probation officers; and researchers from Harvard and Northeastern Universities. The focus of the task force is to reduce violent and gun crime rates in the city of Lowell. The report presents detailed information on the current situation in Lowell, the development and implementation of PSN in the city, an analysis of the problem in the city, strategic interventions used by PSN, and an evaluation of the interventions used by city officials. Analysis of the strategies suggest that while the strategies have had an impact on reducing aggravated assaults with a firearm, they have had little impact on armed robberies with a gun or on gun-related calls-for-service. A positive impact of the strategies is the successful development and implementation of a multi-agency partnership that employs a research-driven, strategic problem-solving approach to reducing gun crime. Figures, references, and endnotes
Date Published: February 1, 2007