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Posted on: March 25, 2021

Project Safe Neighborhoods


For Immediate Release

March 25, 2021

Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN) is a national initiative that is the centerpiece of the US Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime in states and communities across the country. The project is a partnership designed to develop, implement, and assess data-driven violence reduction strategies and improve the long-term prevention of crime and violence in communities.  

The US Attorney in the Middle District of Florida coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials. The Fort Myers Police Department is a recipient of a Project Safe Neighborhood grant. A select PSN Advisory Board of key leaders and justice system stakeholders have been appointed to address the directives as they relate to the Fort Myers community.


Derrick Diggs, Chief, Ft. Myers Police Department

Jesus Casas, US State Attorney

Stacey Cook, CEO, SalusCare

Amira Fox, State Attorney, 20th Judicial Circuit

Gwen Gittens, Lee County School Board

Madison Mitchell, Community Impact Manager, United Way

Sara Owen, President and CEO, Southwest Florida Community Foundation

Dr. Sandra Pavelka, Professor, Florida Gulf Coast University

Joe Paterno, Executive Director, Southwest Florida Workforce Development

Hannah Pelle, Vice President, Community Impact, United Way

Kathleen Smith, Public Defender, 20th Judicial Circuit 

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