Barr announces crackdown targeting violent crime in seven US cities

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Attorney General William Barr announced Wednesday the launch of an initiative aimed at combating violent crime in seven U.S. cities.

Barr kicked off Operation Relentless Pursuit in Detroit alongside officials from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Agency, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and other agencies.

The initiative will boost federal law enforcement resources in Albuquerque, N.M.; Baltimore; Cleveland; Detroit; Kansas City, Mo.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Milwaukee — all cities with violent crime levels higher than the national average.

“Americans deserve to live in safety,” Barr said. “And while nationwide violent crime rates are down, many cities continue to see levels of extraordinary violence.”

“Operation Relentless Pursuit seeks to ensure that no American city is excluded from the peace and security felt by the majority of Americans while also supporting those who serve and protect in these communities with the resources, training and equipment they need to stay safe,” he added.

The operation will increase the number of federal law enforcement officers in the seven cities and expand collaboration between federal task forces and state and local partners. The surge in federal officers will be buoyed by an investment of up to $71 million in federal grant funding that can be used for hiring new officers, paying overtime and benefits, financing federally deputized task force officers, and more. 

Law enforcement agency officials said the added resources will better enable them to carry out their duties.

“Drug traffickers — including cartels and street gangs — will stop at nothing to turn a profit, often using violence and intimidation to expand their reach,” said acting DEA Administrator Uttam Dhillon. “This targeted surge of resources will further strengthen our ability to work with our federal, state, and local partners to pursue the worst offenders and make our communities safer.”

“The FBI remains committed to providing our specialized expertise and resources to assist our federal, state and local partners fighting violent crime,” added FBI Director Christopher Wray. “We are here today to reaffirm our dedication to reducing violent crime in the cities selected for Operation Relentless Pursuit to combat the threats that arise from gangs and criminal enterprises that drive violence in the communities we are sworn to protect.”

Tags Christopher Wray CIA FBI Operation Relentless Pursuit William Barr
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