(STL.News) – U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison today announced more than $7.7 million in Department of Justice grants to fight and prevent violent crime in the Western District of Missouri. The local grants are part of more than $458 million in funding to support state, local, and tribal law enforcement efforts to combat violent crime in jurisdictions across the United States.
“The Department of Justice grants announced today address a wide range of issues related to dispensing justice, from law enforcement to prosecutors to courts,” Garrison said. “This federal grant funding bolsters our efforts, and the efforts of our state and local partners, to reduce crime and improve public safety in the Western District of Missouri.”
“One of the fundamental missions of government is to protect its citizens and safeguard the rule of law,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “The Department of Justice will continue to meet this critical responsibility by doing everything within its power to help our state, local and tribal law enforcement and criminal justice partners fight crime and deliver justice on behalf of all Americans.”
The following organizations received a total of $7,783,383 in federal grant funding:
• The Kansas City, Mo., Police Department received $1,428,571 under Operation Relentless Pursuit. This initiative infuses federal law enforcement resources into seven cities with violent
crime levels several times the national average. Federal funds support efforts such as hiring
prosecutors, overtime expenses for task force members, multi-agency investigations, technology,
and strategic planning.
• The Missouri Attorney General’s Office received $397,020 and the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office received $247,236 under Project Guardian. This initiative reduces gun violence and enforces federal firearms laws. Funds will enable jurisdictions to hire prosecutors within local U.S. Attorney’s Offices who are cross-designated to bring firearms cases to federal court.
• The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office received $340,000 under Innovative Prosecution Solutions for Combatting Violent Crime. This program provides state, local, and tribal prosecutors with resources, training, and technical assistance to implement technology and develop strategies and programs to address and prosecute individuals who commit violent crime.
• The Kansas City, Mo., Police Department received $998,478 under Operation LeGend. This is an ongoing, systematic, and coordinated law enforcement initiative across all federal law enforcement agencies. It enables them to work with state and local law enforcement officials to fight the current surge of violent crime in American cities.
• The Kansas City, Mo., Municipal Court received $1 million and the Judiciary Courts of the State of Missouri received $996,466 under the Justice Reinvestment Initiative. This provides funding for innovative and research-based responses that address a range of problems within the criminal justice system. The Justice Reinvestment approach recognizes that every justice agency has a role to play in preventing crime, apprehending and prosecuting perpetrators, ensuring efficient and effective court and pretrial decision-making, facilitating appropriate sentencing and treatment and protecting community security.
• The Missouri State Highway Patrol received $1,009,423 under the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Act Record Improvement Program. This provides financial and technical assistance to states and tribes to improve the completeness, automation, and transmittal of records to state and federal systems used by the NICS.
• The Missouri State Highway Patrol received $1,366,189 under the National Criminal History Improvement Program. This enhances the quality, completeness, and accessibility of criminal history record information to state, territory and federal systems used by the NICS and ensures the nationwide implementation of criminal justice and noncriminal justice background check systems.
“Violence has become a tragic reality in too many of America’s communities,” said Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan. “Working with officials across the Trump Administration and with thousands of state, local and tribal crime-fighters across the country, the Department of Justice is leading the response to this urgent challenge. OJP is pleased to make these resources available to support innovative, tested and diverse solutions to violent crime.”
Of the more than $458 million awarded nationwide, OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance made 1,094 grants totaling more than $369 million to support a broad range of initiatives, including efforts in enforcement, prosecution, adjudication, detention and rehabilitation.