Project Safe Neighboorhoods

(CFDA # 16.609)

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program is a nationwide initiative that brings together federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials, prosecutors, community-based partners, and other stakeholders to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in a community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is designed to create and foster safer neighborhoods through a sustained reduction in violent crime, including, but not limited to, addressing criminal gangs and the felonious possession and use of firearms.

PSN is coordinated by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices (USAOs) in the 94 federal judicial districts throughout the 50 states and U.S. territories. The Office of Criminal Justice Programs oversees the Federal Districts made up of Tennessee’s 3 grand divisions: East, Middle, and West. PSN is customized to account for local violent crime problems and resources. An important aspect of PSN is to incorporate research and analysis to inform the decision-making process on the most effective violence reduction strategies.

More information is also available in the Project Safe Neighborhoods Blueprint for Success

OCJP will act as the fiscal agent for all 3 federal district’s awards. Eligible subrecipients are limited to local law enforcement agencies whose primary jurisdiction falls within one of the United States District Court three grand divisions of Tennessee. Applicants must demonstrate the ability to implement effective programs and strategies that enable PSN task forces to prevent, respond to, and reduce violence crime and have the ability to foster effective collaboration with affected communities. Applicants must create and maintain ongoing coordination among federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials.

To advance Executive Order 13929 Safe Policing for Safe Communities, the Attorney General determined that all state, local, and university or college law enforcement agencies must be certified by an approved independent credentialing body or have started the certification process no later than January 31, 2021, to be eligible for FY 2021 DOJ discretionary grant funding. To become certified, the law enforcement agency must meet two mandatory conditions: (1) the agency’s use of force policies adhere to all applicable federal, state, and local laws; and (2) the agency’s use of force policies prohibit chokeholds except in situations where use of deadly force is allowed by law. The certification requirement also applies to law enforcement agencies receiving DOJ discretionary grant funding through a subaward. For detailed information on this new certification requirement, please visit  to access the Standards for Certification on Safe Policing for Safe Communities, Implementation Fact Sheet, and List of Designated Independent Credentialing Bodies.

With PSN, each U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) is responsible for establishing a collaborative team of federal, state, and local law enforcement and community partners to implement a strategic plan for investigating, prosecuting, and preventing violent crime in their respective districts. That strategic plan should include information on how the PSN team will engage with the community to build trust and accountability, use law enforcement resources strategically by focusing enforcement efforts on cases that will have the most impact on the violent crime rate, and incorporate prevention and intervention strategies to help stop violent crime and victimization before they occur. PSN also strongly encourages the development of practitioner-researcher partnerships that use data, evidence, and innovation to create strategies and interventions that are effective and make communities safer.

PSN grant funding can be used to support a wide variety of evidence-based prevention and intervention programs, including Community Violence Intervention (CVI) programs — such as violence interrupters, street outreach, and hospital- based interventions — which identify those who are at the highest risk and work to reduce violence through targeted interventions. In addition, PSN sites will have access to training and technical assistance resources to assist them in implementing promising prevention initiatives such as CVI.

Pursuant to 34 U.S.C. § 60701-05, 30 percent of PSN funding must be used to support gang task forces in regions in the United States “experiencing a significant or increased presence of criminal or transnational organizations engaging in high levels of violent crime, firearms offenses, human trafficking, and drug trafficking.” Each PSN district must account for this requirement in its submitted grant application materials as outlined in the “Application and Submission Information” section of this solicitation. This should include a clear explanation of how funds will be used to enhance, or coordinate with, teams that focus on these crime issues.

PSN’s Four Design Features

Applicants are expected to use funds to support one or more of the following four PSN design features:

1. Community Engagement

Meaningful engagement between and among communities, law enforcement, prosecutors, and other stakeholders is an essential component of an effective violence reduction strategy. Absent community trust, support, and legitimacy, violence reduction strategies are likely to have only short-term, limited, or no effect and may create divisions between law enforcement agencies and prosecutors and the communities they serve. Ongoing engagement involves open communication and builds relationships, trust, and shared public safety values between community members and law enforcement.

2. Prevention and Intervention

Effective PSN Teams engage in problem-solving approaches that address violent crime using all the tools at their disposal. This includes utilizing strategies to address risk and protective factors, which often involves building relationships with representatives of agencies and organizations most suited to provide education, social services, job training and placement, reentry programs, or similar resources to those in need. Prevention and intervention activities can provide individuals and families with skills, opportunities, and alternatives that can ultimately help to reduce violent crime in communities.

3. Focused and Strategic Enforcement

To address violent crime, PSN initiatives often focus strategic enforcement on a limited number of problem places and individuals driving violent crime. Violent crime is often driven by a small number of prolific offenders; they are often involved in gangs, neighborhood crews, and violent street groups and are typically concentrated in hotspots and small “micro-places” (e.g., a street segment with abandoned homes; a problem bar, gas station, or convenience store; or an open-air drug market). In some jurisdictions, intimate partner violence is the main violent crime concern. Critical elements of strategic enforcement include understanding the most significant drivers of violence and resources, leveraging technology and analytics, developing, and implementing enforcement strategies, and deterring others from engaging in violence, which could also be through public awareness about enforcement actions and available assistance.

4. Accountability

PSN represents a major investment of funding, technical assistance resources, human capital, and other resources at the national, state, and local levels. The ultimate goal of PSN is to reduce the level of violence in our communities. Analyzing and assessing information about the incidence of violence and the effectiveness of strategies to address it are important for PSN’s success and credibility. A research partner is an especially valuable partner who can assist with measuring the impact of PSN strategies on violent crime and community health.

Please reference Chapter XIV. Allowable Costs of the OCJP Grants Manual for full explanations and restrictions regarding generic Allowable Costs

a.  General Salaries and Personnel Costs: Payment of personnel costs are allowable if costs are a part of an approved project and are necessary and incidental to project implementation and operation. Overtime pay will only be approved by OCJP on a case-by-case basis.

b. Operational Costs: Payment of operational costs is allowable if costs are part of an   approved project and are necessary to the project implementation and operation.  Operational costs may include supplies, telecommunication costs, postage and shipping, printing and publications costs, rent, equipment rental costs and insurance costs.  Costs for a program must be prorated across all fund sources.

c. Clothing and Furniture Costs: Payment of clothing and furniture must be pre-approved by OCJP before a purchase is made.

d. Professional Fees: If the implementing governmental agency or non-profit organization is entering into a sub-contractual relationship with an entity that is providing project based professional services for the project, a subcontract will be required between the implementing agency and the subcontracting entity.  Subrecipients should check the Administrative Manual as many items in this line item require a pre-approved Subcontract.  Enter the name of the individual or company being used, the number of hours or days for the fiscal year and the total cost.  Consultant rates of payment are to be reasonable and consistent with fees for similar services in the market place. Individual consultant fees cannot exceed $650 per day or $81.25 per hour; this includes legal, medical, psychological, training, and accounting consultants.

e.  Publication of Documents and Electronic Media: Project directors are encouraged to make the results and accomplishments of their activities available to the public. A subrecipient who publicizes project activities and results shall adhere to the following:

Responsibility for the direction of the project should not be ascribed to the Department of Justice or the Tennessee Office of Criminal Justice Programs.

All reports, studies, notices, informational pamphlets, press releases, signs, billboards, DVDs, public awareness kits, training curricula, webinars, websites, and similar public notices (written, visual or sound) prepared and released by the Grantee shall include the statement:

“This project was supported by Award No. (insert award number) awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Department of Justice.”

Additionally, studies and research/report type publications expressing the direction of project activity must also contain the following federal funding statement:

The opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations contained within this document are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice or the State of Tennessee, Office of Criminal Justice Programs.”

f. Equipment: Equipment expenses, which are part of an approved project, if necessary and allocable to that project, are allowable expenses.  Equipment defined as tangible non-expendable personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit or “Sensitive Minor Equipment”.  “Sensitive Minor Equipment” defined as moveable, high-risk, sensitive property items purchased with a cost between $500.00 and $5,000.00, such as computers (i.e., laptops, tablets), weapons, TVs, and cameras acquired, used and managed for criminal justice grant purposes. Equipment or other assets that are purchased in whole or in part with grant funds are subject to OCJP policy guidelines.  These guidelines require that whenever a subrecipient wishes to dispose of surplus equipment, or change its use, the equipment must be returned to the Office of Criminal Justice Programs. There is no time limit on this requirement.

g.  Technology:  In order to promote information sharing and enable interoperability among disparate systems across the justice and public safety community, OCJP requires the grantee to comply with DOJ's Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative (DOJ's Global) guidelines and recommendations for this particular grant. Subgrantee shall conform to the Global Standards Package (GSP) and all constituent elements, where applicable, as described at: Subgrantee shall document planned approaches to information sharing and describe compliance to the GSP and appropriate privacy policy that protects shared information or provide detailed justification for why an alternative approach is recommended.

h.  Software and Hardware:  Any law enforcement records management system must be from a TBI approved vendor and be TIBRS compliant.  Records management systems must be preapproved by OCJP prior to submitting the proposal.  Records management systems must be XML compatible.

i.  Travel: Expenses and reimbursements for in state and out of state travel must follow the most current comprehensive State of Tennessee Travel Rules and Regulations.

j. Training, Conferences, and Meetings: Training, Conferences, and Meetings: which are part of an approved project, if necessary and allocable to that project, are allowable expenses. The following cost thresholds are in place:

Meeting Room/Audio Visual Services: Lesser of $25 per day per attendee or $20,000.

Logistical Planners: Lesser of $50 per attendee or $8,750.

Programmatic Planners: Lesser of $200 per attendee or $35,000.

Food and Beverage: Generally not allowed.

Refreshments: Generally not allowed.

Please reference Chapter XV. Unallowable Costs of the OCJP Grants Manual for full explanations and restrictions regarding generic Unallowable Costs.

Food and Beverages: Food, snacks, and beverages are not allowed under PSN funding.

Construction: Use of grant funds for construction projects is prohibited under both state and federal guidelines for this program.

Land Acquisition: Acquisition of land with PSN grant funds are prohibited.

Supplanting: Federal funds must be used to supplement existing State and local funds for program activities and must not supplant those funds that have been appropriated for the same purpose. Supplanting will be reviewed during the application process, post-award monitoring, and audit.

Generic Unallowable Costs
-  Construction,
-  Land acquisition (Purchase of real property),
-  Any expenditures that reflect supplanting,
-  Compensation of federal employees,
-  Travel of federal employees,
-  Bonuses or commissions,
-  Military type equipment,
-  Lobbying,
-  Fundraising (including financial campaigns, endowment drives, solicitation of gifts and bequests, and similar expenses incurred solely to raise capital or obtain contributions),
-  Corporate formation,
-  State and Local taxes,
-  Trainings and workshops have unallowable cost restrictions,
-  Food is unallowable, except food provided directly for victim’s needs,
-  Legal fees,
-  Cost in applying for this grant,
-  Any expenses prior to the grant award date,
-  First class travel,
-  Management or administrative training,
-  Gas or gift cards,
-  Sole source contracts (without the prior written approval from the OCJP), and
-  Cost incurred outside the project period.
-  Administrative liability insurance.

Lobbying: In general, as a matter of federal law, federal funds awarded by OJP may not be used by the recipient, or any subrecipient ("subgrantee") at any tier, either directly or indirectly, to support or oppose the enactment, repeal, modification, or adoption of any law, regulation, or policy, at any level of government.  See 18 U.S.C. 1913.

 Another federal law generally prohibits federal funds awarded by OJP from being used by the recipient, or any subrecipient at any tier, to pay any person to influence (or attempt to influence) a federal agency, a Member of Congress, or Congress (or an official or employee of any of them) with respect to the awarding of a federal grant or cooperative agreement, subgrant, contract, subcontract, or loan, or with respect to actions such as renewing, extending, or modifying any such award.  See 31 U.S.C. 1352.  Certain exceptions to this law apply, including an exception that applies to Indian tribes and tribal organizations.

Should any question arise as to whether a particular use of federal funds by a recipient (or subrecipient) would or might fall within the scope of these prohibitions, the recipient is to contact OCJP for guidance, and may not proceed without the express prior written approval of OCJP.

Please Note: This list is NOT ALL-INCLUSIVE.  For further clarification, contact OCJP or refer to the PSN portion of the OCJP Grants Manual at the following link: OCJP Grants Manual.

The Project Director is responsible for timely submission of completed program and fiscal reports. Inability to submit required reports in a timely fashion is considered a failure of required contract obligations.

NOTE: The subrecipient is required to gather and maintain statistical data relating to grant project activities as required by the Office of Criminal Justice Programs. The data collected should support the information submitted on the annual reports. OCJP may periodically request to see the back-up data that supports the information submitted on your output and outcome reports.