(STL.News) – U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant today announced more than $2 million in Department of Justice grants to fight and prevent violent crime in the Western District of Tennessee. The grants, awarded by the Department’s Office of Justice Programs, 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.
“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 funding announced today continues the Trump Administration’s commitment to reducing crime and improving public safety. In the two years before President Trump took office, America had experienced a precipitous rise in crime, particularly in serious violent crime. The President elevated community safety to the top of his domestic agenda and crime rates have fallen steadily since. Recent data from the FBI and the Bureau of Justice Statistics for 2019 show a drop in crime and serious victimization for the third year in a row. However, a number of cities are experiencing conspicuous countertrends. Today’s grants will bolster crime-fighting efforts in those communities and in jurisdictions throughout the United States.
“Violence has become a tragic reality in too many of America’s communities,” said 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.”
U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said: “Under Operation LeGend, we have intensified our focus on removing firearms from the hands of prohibited persons, and removing violent offenders from our streets. We are thankful to Attorney General Barr for providing these additional OJP grant resources to combat violent gun crime in Memphis, and we will continue to coordinate with our state and local law enforcement partners to use these resources to effectively target the real crime drivers in Memphis and Shelby County: gangs, guns, and drugs.”
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.
OJP’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention awarded more than $10 million across 24 jurisdictions to intervene in and suppress youth gang activity as well as $1 million to the Institute for Intergovernmental Research to continue operating the National Gang Center. OJP’s National Institute of Justice awarded $7.8 million to fund research and evaluation on the prevention and reduction of violent crime. OJP’s Bureau of Justice Statistics provided more than $69 million to strengthen the quality and accessibility of records within the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
The following organizations received funding:
• Operation Relentless Pursuit
• Project Guardian
District Attorney General, 30th Judicial District
• Operation LeGend