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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

DOJ to commit $1.6 billion to address violent crime

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday announced funding for a new initiative aimed at reducing violent crime.

According to the department’s press release, the DOJ says it is channeling $1.6 billion toward addressing “a range of public safety challenges.”

“The Department of Justice is committed to supporting our state and local partners in tackling crime across the country,” US Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. “This latest round of funding will provide critical public safety resources to help public safety professionals, victim service providers, local agencies and non-profit organizations meet these serious challenges.”

These grants are to support the department’s comprehensive strategy to reduce violent crime announced in May and to advance President Joe Biden’s comprehensive strategy to prevent and respond to gun crime and ensure public safety, released in June.

The awards are coming from the Justice Department’s Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program and will be distributed across a list of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.

The funding comes amid concerns about a recent wave of robbery crimes at retail stores in major cities across the country and videos of the incidents emerging on social media platforms.

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The White House agrees with major retailers as well as state and local officials, expressing concerns about robbery-and-grab crimes, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at a December 7 press briefing. .

“I think our actions and work in working with the Department of Justice, the FBI, and federal law enforcement shows that we have dealt with retail thefts and major retailers, as well as showing both state and local, some of these extremely disturbing have seen the videos to do. Leaders like Sarkar [Gavin] Newsom (California) has identified this as a serious concern. We agree,” said Saki.

According to FBI data, violent crime rates nationally hit a ten-year high last year. This includes a year-on-year jump from 6,977 in 2019 to 9,630 in 2020.

“This money will help address the increase in gun violence over the past two years,” Saki said, “and strengthen the steps already taken by the administration to crack down on violent crime.”

to follow

Nick Ciolino covers the White House.

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