Jon Adler Abruptly Leaves Bureau of Justice Assistance

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Jon Adler at his swearing-in ceremony Dec.11, 2017

Jon Adler, who has led the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, has left the agency.

A press release from DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs announced on Monday that Adler had been replaced as acting director by Tracey Trautman. The release did not explain Adler’s departure.

He reportedly resigned on Monday, a day before he was scheduled to speak to the annual National Forum on Criminal Justice, being sponsored in Crystal City, Va., this week by the National Criminal Justice Association and the International Community Corrections Association.

Last week, Adler was quoted in prepared remarks to a Justice Department conference as saying that, “After two years of alarming increases in the crime rate leading up to President Trump’s inauguration, our nation has turned a corner.”

The comment was posted a day before the annual National Crime Victimization Survey issued by DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that violent crime rose in the U.S. last year, based on interviews with Americans on whether they had been crime victims.

After Adler’s remarks were quoted in The Crime Report and by the Voice of America, the Justice Department said he did not actually utter them in a Public Safety Partnership session in Memphis.

BJA’s stated mission is “to provide leadership and services in grant administration and criminal justice policy development to support local, state, and tribal justice strategies to achieve safer communities.”

As Adler departed, the agency was in the process of issuing many of its annual grants at the end of the federal fiscal year on Sept. 30.

Before heading BJA, Adler had served as an active-duty federal law enforcement officer since 1991, and prior to his presidential appointment as BJA Director, served 16 years with the U.A. Attorney’s office in Manhattan as Chief Firearms Training Officer.

Adler also was National President of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) for seven years.

Trautman is a career federal employee, having served as Deputy Director of Programs since 2010 at BJA. She served as the Acting Director of BJA from January until December of 2017 before Adler’s appointment.

Before BJA, she worked at the Department of Homeland Security as Deputy Assistant Administrator and the Acting Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Grant Programs Division. She also served for 30 years as an officer in the Army National Guard of the United States.

Office of Justice Programs Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine Sullivan said Trautman would “will continue to advance the  (Justice) Department’s public safety mission prioritized by Attorney General Barr and President Trump. Ms. Trautman will help us carry out the Attorney General’s strategy to reduce violent crime, combat the opioid crisis and protect America’s brave law enforcement officers.”

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