ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - My name is Charlie Peeler. I am your U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.
Two years ago this month, the Department of Justice announced the revitalization of “Project Safe Neighborhoods.”
Project Safe Neighborhoods is the centerpiece of the department’s strategy to reduce violent crime across our nation.
The revitalization of Project Safe Neighborhoods was an important step following an increase in violence nationwide in 2015 and 2016.
Throughout the past two years, we have partnered with all levels of law enforcement, community organizations and concerned citizens to reduce violent crime.
We have created Project Safe neighborhood task forces across our district to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.
And, there is positive news. According to the FBI’s most recent crime report, the national violent crime rate decreased for the second consecutive year, down 3.9 percent from 2017.
Here in the Middle District of Georgia, crime is a concern for all our citizens, particularly in Albany, Columbus and Macon where the homicide rate is above the national average.
But there is more positive news. The homicide rates are declining in Albany and Macon.
Our work is not done and our office remains committed to reducing violent crime in Albany and across the Middle district of Georgia using common sense tactics.
Each month, our task forces are reviewing gun crimes and targeting the most violent criminals who are gang members, drug traffickers and those with violent criminal histories.
Our task forces work with local, state and federal agencies to round up the most violent criminals.
In 2018, we worked with our law enforcement partners to arrest 30 known violent criminals during a coordinated warrant sweep in Albany.
We did similar sweeps in cities across the Middle District.
During the 2019 fiscal year, we prosecuted 222 defendants through Project Safe Neighborhoods. And about 25 percent of those defendants were here in Albany.
In the federal justice system, there is no parole.
Convicted violent criminals will serve their prison sentences.
As your U.S. attorney, reducing violent crime will remain a top priority of our office.
We will continue to partner with law enforcement, community groups and concerned citizens across the Middle District of Georgia.
Working together, we can reduce violent crime, and make our neighborhoods safer