Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas

Olson Acts To Combat Violent Gang Crime

June 7, 2018
Press Release

Washington, DC – Rep. Pete Olson (TX-22) last night acted to create safer neighborhoods and combat violent gang crime. Olson voted for the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3249, the Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act. This bill officially authorizes the Project Safe Neighborhoods Program, which helps stop violent crime by fostering and improving partnerships between federal, state and local agencies. It also helps steer federal funding to regional task forces who are at the frontlines combatting transnational gangs like MS-13. H.R. 3249 passed the Senate unanimously and the House by a vote of 394-13 and now heads to the president’s desk for signature.

“Gang violence is a problem that affects communities across our nation,” Rep. Pete Olson said. “Between 800 and 1,200 MS-13 gang members live right here in the Greater Houston area, wreaking havoc on our communities. The federal government has a critical role to help protect our families from criminals like MS-13 coming into our nation. This program will help provide our law enforcement with critical resources to combat gang violence. I’m pleased my colleagues voted to put the safety of Americans first and am confident the president will sign this bill into law quickly.” 

Highlights of H.R. 3249

  • H.R. 3249 officially establishes the Project Safe Neighborhoods Block Grant Program within the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs to foster and improve existing partnerships to create safer neighborhoods through sustained reductions in violent crimes.
  • The Program, first created in 2001, had previously been funded through other grants. The legislation authorizes $50 million a year for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2020.
  • Provides the localities receiving grants under this Program with control over how the funds are to be used, to the extent practicable. This local control will ensure local law enforcement is able to allocate funds toward specific problems they have identified.
  • Allocates a percentage of the funds to regional task forces in areas with a significant or increased presence of criminal activity caused by gangs.

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Media Contact: Melissa Kelly 
202-225-5951