DOJ Announces Plans to Implement Reichert's Solution to Gun Crime

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA), a law enforcement veteran of 33 years, released the following statement after the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced their initiative for combatting violent crime using Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program Rep. Reichert has long championed, as its centerpiece.

PSN is an evidence-driven grant program designed to create safer neighborhoods through a sustained reduction in crime associated with gang and gun violence. During his time serving as Sheriff, Rep. Reichert oversaw the program in King County, Washington.

As part of the DOJ’s actions to combat violent crime and get more cops on the street, the department also announced plans to strengthen funding for the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program, a program Rep. Reichert has advocated for during his time in law enforcement and his thirteen years in Congress.

“Today we moved one step closer to reducing violent crime and making our communities safer for all Americans,” said Rep. Reichert. “After years of calling for increased support for PSN under the previous Administration, the DOJ has taken the right step to better protect the American people. From my time in law enforcement, I have seen PSN deliver on reducing violent crime, including gun crime and gang-related activity. It is a results-driven and community outreach-focused program that sends a clear message to potential criminals that if they do the crime, they will do the time.”

Reichert continued, “I am also pleased to see the DOJ has taken hiring shortages seriously and strengthened support for the COPS Hiring Program. Over the years, our law enforcement officers have taken on more responsibilities, suffered increased public scrutiny, and have been forced to work with fewer resources, making fulfilling their mission of keeping our families safe increasingly difficult. Putting more highly-trained, compassionate, and community-sensitive cops on the street will free up resources for law enforcement departments to tackle violent crime in our communities through community policing and intervention efforts.”

To learn more about PSN, see the Attorney General’s memo HERE.

Rep. Reichert’s Efforts on PSN and COPS Hiring:

Last month, Rep. Reichert’s amendment to increase funding for Project Safe Neighborhoods passed the House. Prior to the passage of the amendment, he spoke on the House floor.

Additionally, last month, Rep. Reichert secured funding for the COPS Hiring Program on the House floor from Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee (CJS) Chairman John Culberson (R-TX) for Fiscal Year 2018. Prior to the Congressman’s efforts, funding for the program had been completely eliminated. 

Chairman Culberson committed to funding the program during a colloquy with Rep. Reichert on the House floor.

To read Rep. Reichert’s OpEd in The Hill about his experience with Project Safe Neighborhoods while he was Sheriff of King County, click HERE.