Justice Department Releases $61 Million in Awards to Combat Violent Crime in Seven U.S. Cities
The Justice Department announced that the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) and the Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) have awarded more than $61 million in grant funding to support the Attorney General’s Operation Relentless Pursuit (ORP) initiative.
Launched on Dec. 18, 2019, ORP aims to intensify federal law enforcement resources into seven American cities with violent crime levels several times the national average – Albuquerque, Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Memphis, and Milwaukee.
“Successful strategies to target and reduce violent crime are extremely resource intensive,” said COPS Office Director Phil Keith. “There is no greater resource than additional men and women on the front lines of the relentless fight against gangs, drug traffickers and those that mean harm to our nation’s communities. The funding announced today is greatly needed for the Operation Relentless Pursuit jurisdictions and the COPS Office is honored to dedicate resources for this effort.”
The COPS Office, through its COPS Hiring Program (CHP), awarded a total of $51 million to be used to hire 214 sworn law enforcement officers for state and local law enforcement task forces. The recipients of the funding will deploy existing veteran officers to task force duties and use the CHP funding to hire new recruits to backfill those positions, as practical.
Officers deployed to Operation Relentless Pursuit task forces as a result of CHP funding must be sworn, career law enforcement officers of the awarded agency, and their work on the task force must benefit their jurisdiction. In addition, they are required to work with their respective U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) and relevant federal agencies to investigate and prosecute suspects involved in gangs, drug trafficking, and other violent crime – related issues.
For a breakdown of the awards, please click here. For more information on the COPS Hiring Program ORP grants, please visit: https://cops.usdoj.gov/pdf/2020AwardDocs/chp/FY20_Relentless_Pursuit_Fact_Sheet.pdf
According to the DOJ, the Bureau of Justice Assistance is making $10 million available to support Operation Relentless Pursuit. BJA funds will support efforts such as the hiring of additional prosecutors, overtime expenses for task force members, multi-agency investigations, mobile data terminals and modern technological platforms, and development of strategic plans to address gaps in combating violent crime.