The Justice Department has launched initiative aimed at combating violent crime in seven U.S. cities, the Hill reports. Attorney General William Barr kicked off Operation Relentless Pursuit in Detroit alongside officials from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and other agencies. The initiative boosts federal law enforcement resources in Albuquerque, Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Memphis, and Milwaukee, all with violent crime levels higher than 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.” 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. Up to $71 million in federal grant funding can be used for hiring new officers, paying overtime and benefits, financing federally deputized task force officers, and more. “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.”