Department of Justice sending money to western Washington to combat gun violence

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Nick Brown announced Thursday $268,000 from the Justice Department will go to western Washington to fight gun violence.

SEATTLE – The U.S. Attorney’s Office Nick Brown announced Thursday $268,000 from the Department of Justice will go to western Washington to fight gun violence.

Funds will be used to expand the Project’s Safe Neighborhood Program to Pierce, Snohomish, and Clark Counties.

The funding comes as those counties are having near-record homicides.

Pierce and Tacoma counties are seeing an increase in violent crime. Tacoma’s murder rate continues to rise after a weekend of deadly violence. Two shootings on Sunday left two people dead and one woman injured.

“Tacoma police had a record number of homicides last year, by the second half of the year they were almost back to that number,” Sgt said. Darren Moss with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office.

Last year, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office investigated 24 homicides, the highest level in years. To date in 2022, there have been 20 homicides.

“We want to make sure people feel safe and secure in our community, so seeing these numbers go up is really frustrating,” Sgt said. Moss.

That’s why the Department of Justice is putting $268,000 into its Project Safe Neighborhood Program. That money is used to help support community efforts to combat gun crime. The program is led by the U.S. attorney’s office, local public safety agencies, and community organizations.

“This year we are expanding the reach of the district’s PSN program by adding partnerships in Clark, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties,” U.S. Attorney Nick Brown for the Western District of Washington said in a statement. a press release. “We will also partner with our state Office of Gun Safety and Violence Prevention and our state Attorney General’s Office to identify and fund community strategies to prevent gun violence. in high-risk populations”.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office says less gun crime means it can catch other criminals.

“We don’t have time to investigate petty theft or fraud. It’s just the nature of the business, we have to prioritize what jobs we do with the limited resources we have,” said Sgt. Moss.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office says the biggest problem it faces is staffing shortages.

“Serious crimes are getting worse and worse. How can we continue our game, we are very thin and we are working as hard as we can. We just want to see better for our community, that’s why we put on our uniforms and go out there and do our job,” Sgt said. Moss.

To address the shortage of police officers, the Justice Department also announced $139 million to help local agencies hire more police. The Lynnwood Police Department is getting $1.2 million to hire 10 more officers.

https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/department-of-justice-money-western-washington-combat-gun-violence/281-4028e3cc-46da-4bff-9ee3-59de1ce57597 Department of Justice sending money to western Washington to combat gun violence

Edmund DeMarche

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