By Kristie Brackens, Senior Policy Advisor, Bureau of Justice Assistance
In almost every community if you tune into your local news, visit your favorite online news web site, or pick up the paper, you will find a story about violent crime. Violent crime is not a new topic. What is new is the approach the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has taken in working with cities to reduce violent crime and increase public safety. The Violence Reduction Network (VRN), an initiative started in 2014 by DOJ through the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), is confronting this problem and its root causes with a holistic approach.