ABOUT

Learn how the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative is making Richmond a safer place for everyone.

WHAT IS PROJECT SAFE NEIGHBORHOODS?

Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a nationwide initiative to reduce gun and gang crime in America. Started by the United States Department of Justice in 2001, PSN works together with local organizations to target gang and gun crime and provides additional funding and tools to help local anti-crime initiatives succeed.

Since its first day, Richmond’s Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative has worked to reduce gun and gang violence amongst our youth by joining forces with Virginia’s Office of the Attorney General, the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, Richmond Police Department, Richmond Public Schools, the Department of Juvenile Justice, and numerous community organizations.

HOW DOES PROJECT SAFE NEIGHBORHOODS WORK?

Working in partnership with Virginia’s Office of the Attorney General, the Project Safe Neighborhoods program in Richmond seeks to reduce gun, gang, and other violent crime through a variety of training, outreach, and awareness initiatives for both members of the community and law enforcement organizations.

On the law enforcement side, the PSN program works by improving the quality of violent crime investigations and prosecution, promoting the sharing of information between law enforcement organizations, and increasing officer safety.

For members of the community, the PSN training programs are aimed to help individuals better identify the signs of criminal and gang activity so they can respond appropriately to discourage street gang participation. It also helps to create deeper bonds and better communication between the community and law enforcement.

MEET OUR OUTREACH COORDINATORS!

David Malakouti is the Central Virginia Community Outreach Coordinator and he works hard to connect the resources of local government, social service providers, neighborhood leaders, members of Richmond’s faith community, non-profit organizations, business leaders, and anyone else willing to help make Richmond a better place to live. He also regularly speaks to at-risk youth in Richmond about the consequences of gun and gang violence. To contact David, email him at dmalakouti@oag.state.va.us or give him a call at 804-786-1922. Learn more on our Community Resources page.

 

Shannon Freeman works in the Programs and Outreach division of the Office of Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring as the program coordinator for Virginia Rules, a state-specific law-related education program for middle and high school students.  Shannon coordinates instructor training, develops curriculum and resource materials, and manages the program’s interactive website. She is also involved with the office’s heroin/opioid abuse prevention efforts and gang prevention initiatives. As part of the Programs division she also assists with other statewide programming priorities of the Attorney General’s office, including domestic violence and sexual assault initiatives, Triad, jail re-entry, and identity theft/consumer fraud education and prevention. To contact Shannon, email her at sfreeman@oag.state.va.us or give her a call at 804-692-0484.

David Malakouti
Shannon Freeman

WHAT IS VIRGINIA RULES?

Virginia Rules is a law-themed educational program for Virginia middle and high school students.  The purpose of Virginia Rules is to educate young Virginians about the law and help them develop skills needed to make sound decisions, to avoid breaking laws, and to become active citizens of their schools and communities.  Last year, 55,000 students across the state learned about Virginia law through the Virginia Rules curriculum in sessions taught by school resource officers, teachers, juvenile probation officers, youth group leaders, and others who work with youth.  With over two dozen modules, the curriculum covers a wide array of law-related topics relevant to Virginia youth.  For more information, contact Virginia Rules Program Coordinator Shannon Freeman at 804-692-0484 or sfreeman@oag.state.va.us or visit the Virginia Rules website.

READY TO RESPECT RICHMOND?

There are so many ways you can help in your community.

– If you see something suspicious, say something to an adult, pastor, counselor, or police officer.

– Organize a community clean up event in your neighborhood.

– If you know someone has an illegal gun, submit a tip to Gun250.

– Request a gang awareness training session from your Community Outreach Coordinator.

– Participate in volunteer event in your community or a MLK Day of Service event.

Learn more about the many community resources available to you today.