Criminal Justice News

Monday, September 26, 2016

Justice Department Expands Violence Reduction Network to Jackson, Mississippi and Nashville, Tennessee

More Than $67 Million in Grants to Support Local Law Enforcement Efforts Also Announced

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch  today announced the addition of two cities—Jackson, Mississippi, and Nashville, Tennessee—to the Justice Department’s Violence Reduction Network (VRN), providing federal resources and funding to help reduce violence in these newly-partnered sites.

Established two years ago, VRN is a comprehensive program designed to leverage existing resources and provide a hands-on approach to reduce violence in some of the country’s most challenging cities.  Partnered cities under VRN have violence levels exceeding the national average.  Cities are selected through a quantitative and qualitative evaluation process in consultation with U.S. Attorneys and Department of Justice law enforcement partners.

Through VRN, the Justice Department enlists tactical and operational expertise available from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Executive Office of the U.S. Attorneys, the Community Oriented Policing Services Office and the Office on Violence Against Women.  These resources, in collaboration with resources offered through the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, provide customized training and technical assistance and immediate subject matter expertise tailored to each partnered site’s unique challenges.  As a result, each site receives the benefit of pooled resources, peer-to-peer exchanges, federal site analyses and a variety of regular newsletters, webinars, and other training resources.

“Since launching the Violence Reduction Network with five cities in 2014, we have witnessed extraordinary activity and unprecedented collaboration throughout the VRN,” said Attorney General Lynch.  “Cooperation is the hallmark of the Violence Reduction Network, and the work we have done together reminds us that we are not helpless – or hopeless – in the face of violence.  It makes clear that by bridging divides and building trust, we can shape the direction of our communities.  Today, I am pleased to welcome Jackson and Nashville as new partners.  I applaud the leaders of both cities for their commitment, and I am excited to have them join this innovative network.”

During the event, Attorney General Lynch also announced over $54 million in grants to law enforcement agencies, research institutions, states, cities, tribes and other local government organizations to support body-worn camera programs and address untested sexual assault kits.  Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason announced an additional $13.6 million to help develop innovative, data-driven approaches to crime; reduce and more effectively prosecute gun crimes and increase public safety through community-based partnerships.

“We recognize that federal funding is only part of the solution,” said Assistant Attorney General Mason.  “Success in reducing violence ultimately depends on our ability to work together, to marshal existing resources, and to engage all stakeholders in the work of protecting communities.”

Today’s announcement was made before an audience of U.S. Attorneys, police chiefs, sheriffs, mayors, local leaders from the two sites and Department of Justice representatives at the 3rd Annual VRN Summit.  The addition of Jackson and Nashville brings the total number of partnered sites to 15 since VRN was established in 2014.

For additional information about the Violence Reduction Network, visit

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