Federal law enforcement agencies are pursuing violent crime in Detroit as part of a push to buildup staffing and funding in seven cities across the country.
Operation Relentless Pursuit also focuses on Memphis, Baltimore, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Kansas City and Albuquerque. All have violent crime rates higher than the national average.
Attorney General William Barr says the Justice Department will increase the number of federal agents in these cities.
“Then we are going to allocate additionally $71 million to help build up the state and local efforts,” Barr says. “This could provide an additional 400 police officers nationwide.”
“If we’re getting additional agents deployed, additional equipment, technology that can help us identify violent perpetrators quicker, that’s a win for us.” – Chief James Craig, Detroit Police
Multiple Agencies Coordinating Effort
FBI Director Christopher Wray says multiple agencies are collaborating on the effort.
“The FBI’s focus is on targeting the overall leadership of gangs and criminal enterprises that drive violence in American communities,” says Wray.
The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms will also contribute to the operation. The Justice Department is providing more than $70 million dollars in funding nationwide, some of which could be used to hire officers and buy equipment in Detroit.
Police Chief James Craig says while details of the plan are still murky, the pledge is promising.
“If we’re getting additional agents deployed here in Detroit, and additional equipment, technology that can help us identify violent perpetrators quicker, that’s a win for us,” says Chief Craig.
The federal assistance comes at a time when the Detroit Police narcotics unit is being accused of widespread misconduct. Last week, an investigation found multiple incidents where police allegedly embezzled funds, falsified search warrant paperwork and planted drug evidence.