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The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) awarded West Valley City a $300,000 Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant. West Valley City is one of only 10 Project Safe Neighborhoods Grants to be awarded by the BJA and the only city in Utah to receive a grant.
The grant provides funding for West Valley City to staff a full-time prosecutor at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for 2013 and 2014. The prosecutor funded by the grant will focus on prosecuting federal firearm cases generated by the West Valley City Police Department.
“The West Valley City Attorney’s Office is pleased to continue its partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative,” said City Attorney Eric Bunderson. “Over the last decade, this successful partnership has taken those involved with gun crime out of our neighborhoods in West Valley City and around the State of Utah. With this new funding, we will continue to aggressively prosecute crime involving firearms. Convicted felons, drug dealers, persons convicted of spouse abuse and persons with active protective orders are on notice the firearm possession will lead to federal charges.”
West Valley City has received funding through the Project Safe Neighborhoods Program, but 2012 marked the first time in 12 years that the City had to submit a competitive bid to renew the grant. Under the program, West Valley City has indicted 500 federal firearm cases since 2002.
According to the BJA website, “Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun and gang crime in America by networking existing local programs that target gun and gun crime and providing these programs with additional tools necessary to be successful.”