“We will not concede a single block or street corner in the United States to lawlessness or crime,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the International Association of Chiefs of Police, meeting in Philadelphia on Saturday, Philly.com reports. “The criminals, the gang members, and the drug traffickers should know: We are coming after you — and we have better tools and are better coordinated than ever.” Sessions and others in the Trump administration have been putting a “law-and-order” stamp on policies affecting local policing, even as many criminal justice leaders and elected officials — including in Philadelphia — have begun focusing on progressive-style changes.
Sessions touted the administration’s relaunch of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Program, a crime plan from the Bush era that targets guns and local gangs. Sessions said President Trump’s 2018 fiscal budget seeks $70 million for the program. DOJ plans to award more than $100 million in grants to state and local departments to hire more police officers, Sessions said. It also plans to hire 230 additional assistant U.S. attorneys. Sessions mostly followed his prepared remarks Saturday and left the conference after speaking for about 20 minutes. Reporters were not given access to ask questions and were immediately escorted from the ballroom when the speech ended. Most of the panels and workshops are closed to the public and media. The IACP said reporters would be limited to a few major events, and “unscheduled” interviews with the conference’s estimated 14,000 attendees were barred.