Within the Northern District of California there have been a number of designated Weed and Seed sites over the past 15 years. In the past several years there have been the following designations: Salinas, East Oakland, San Francisco and two in San Jose. West Oakland has been a graduated site for several years. Each of the sites has unique characteristics which create special challenges. At each site, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has played an important role in working with the steering committee and in bringing together the participants on both the “weeding” and “seeding” sides of the program. Most of the programs have run their individual five year program funding cycles, but continue to meet and work on Weed and Seed issues in the community.
As part of the upcoming fiscal year budget, the Weed & Seed program had ended. Funding for new Weed & Seed sites will no longer be available. However, these types of programs may still be available through the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program (BCJI). This initiative was not funded in the FY 2011 final continuing resolution. However, BCJI was included in the President’s proposed FY2012 budget and is pending before Congress. For questions about this source of grant funding please consult the Weed & Seed website FAQ section.
Weed and Seed is a Department of Justice community-based program whose goal is to prevent, control and reduce violent crime, drug abuse, and gang activity in targeted high-crime neighborhoods throughout the country. Weed and Seed strategy follows a two-pronged approach: local law enforcement agencies and prosecutors cooperate in “weeding” out criminals who engage in violent crimes and drug abuse, and “seeding” brings to the area human services encompassing prevention, intervention, treatment, and neighborhood revitalization. A community-oriented policing component bridges weeding and seeding strategies: officers obtain cooperation and information from area residents while they assist residents in obtaining information about community revitalization and resources.
A variety of funding opportunities for law enforcement and other programs are listed on the Office of Justice Programs website.
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Weed and Seed program was developed to demonstrate an innovative and comprehensive approach to law enforcement and community revitalization, and to prevent and control violent crime, drug abuse, and gang activity in target areas. The program, initiated in 1991, attempts to weed out violent crime, gang activity, and drug use and trafficking in target areas, and then seed the target area by restoring the neighborhood through social and economic revitalization. Weed and Seed has three objectives: (1) develop a comprehensive, multiagency strategy to control and prevent violent crime, drug trafficking, and drug-related crime in target neighborhoods; (2) coordinate and integrate existing and new initiatives to concentrate resources and maximize their impact on reducing and preventing violent crime, drug trafficking, and gang activity; and (3) mobilize community residents in the target areas to assist law enforcement in identifying and removing violent offenders and drug traffickers from the community and to assist other human service agencies in identifying and responding to service needs of the target area. To achieve these goals, Weed and Seed integrates law enforcement, community policing, prevention, intervention, treatment, and neighborhood restoration efforts. The Weed and Seed program is being implemented in more than 150 communities across the country.
National Weed and Seed Program — U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Weed and Seed
The Executive Office for Weed and Seed (EOWS) within the Office of Justice Programs is responsible for overall program policy, coordination, and development. EOWS also serves to enhance the law enforcement and prosecution coordination among Federal, State, and local agencies, and coordinates with other cooperating programs and agencies such as Ameri-Corps, Empowerment Zones/Enterprise Communities, and the Comprehensive Communities Program.
The steps taken to implement a Weed and Seed strategy are to (1) organize a Steering Committee; (2) select a target neighborhood; (3) conduct a needs assessment; (4) mobilize resources; (5) identify goals and objectives; and (6) develop an implementation schedule.
The Western District of Missouri has one officially recognized site in the Mid-City Neighborhood of St. Joseph, Mo. We also have two developing sites in the Blue Hills neighborhood of Kansas City and teh Englewood area of Independence.
Operation Weed and Seed is a program that aims to prevent, control, and reduce violent crime, drug abuse, and gang activity in targeted high-crime neighborhoods across the country. Weed and Seed sites range in size from several neighborhood blocks to 15 square miles.
The strategy involves a two-pronged approach. First, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors cooperate in “weeding out” criminals who participate in violent crime and drug abuse, attempting to prevent their return to the targeted area as part of the program. Second, “seeding” brings a variety of human services to the area encompassing crime prevention, intervention, treatment, and neighborhood revitalization. A community-oriented policing component bridges the weeding and seeding aspects of the program. Officers obtain helpful information from area residents for weeding efforts while they aid residents in obtaining information about community revitalization and seeding resources.
Operation Weed and Seed is a U.S. Department of Justice initiative which began in 1991 when three pilot sites were selected to implement the strategy, including Kansas City as one of the original sites. Currently there are approximately 300 sites officially recognized.
Operation Weed and Seed is a multi-agency strategy that “weeds out” violent crime, gang activity, drug use, and drug trafficking in targeted high crime neighborhoods and “seeds” the target area by restoring these neighborhoods through social and economic revitalization. The Weed and Seed strategy recognizes the importance of linking and integrating Federal, State, and local law enforcement and criminal justice efforts with Federal, State, and local social services, the private sector and community efforts to maximize the impact of existing programs and resources. It also recognizes that community involvement is of paramount importance. Community residents must be empowered to assist in solving problems in their neighborhoods. In addition, the private sector is a pivotal partner in the Weed and Seed strategy.
At each site, the United States Attorney plays a central role in organizing the Steering Committee and bringing together the communities with the other Weed and Seed participants. The United States Attorney also facilitates coordination of federal, state, and local law enforcement efforts. Through cooperation, sites can effectively use federal law in weeding strategies and mobilize resources for seeding programs from a variety of federal agencies.