Sessions Announces National Public Safety Partnership
During his speech to open the National Summit on Crime Reduction and Public Safety – a gathering in Bethesda, MD at which federal, state, local, and tribal law discussed ideas for reducing violent crime nationally – Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the formation of the National Public Safety Partnership, or “PSP,” an initiative intended to enhance public safety with increased federal resources in 12 targeted cities.
The resources in question will not include additional funding. According the DOJ website, PSP will “leverage the multidisciplinary expertise of practitioners throughout the Department, in conjunction with experienced consultants and a full array of training and technical assistance providers” to help law enforcement in targeted cities to better address violent crime.
The 12 announced cities are:
- Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- Birmingham, Alabama
- Buffalo, New York
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- Houston, Texas
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- Jackson, Tennessee
- Kansas City, Missouri
- Lansing, Michigan
- Memphis, Tennessee
- Springfield, Illinois
- Toledo, Ohio
The selected cities were described as needing “significant assistance” in dealing with “gun crime, drug trafficking and gang violence.”
Notably absent from the list is Chicago. During his campaign, President Trump frequently singled out Chicago as emblematic of a national rising tide of violent crime. Debate over violent crime rates subsequently became a familiar refrain during the campaign, on the heels of then-candidate Trump’s repeated claims that the national murder rate was the highest it’s been in “45 to 47 years” – numbers disputed by FBI statistics.
The list, however, is subject to change, with additional cities slated to be announced this calendar year, according to DOJ. A spokesman for the Justice Department suggested Chicago’s exclusion may be due in part to the Department having already sent additional agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
According to documents describing the program, PSP will provide “two complementary but separate levels of assistance,” with the formation of so-called Diagnostic Teams and Operations Teams. The former are intended to focus on “assessment and strategy development with the goal of helping the location to develop tools to diagnose and address dynamic violent crime issues,” while the latter will “partner directly with federal, state, local, and tribal officials to strategically address endemic violent crime issues.”
The PSP program was established by DOJ’s newly setup Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, which was formed in response to President Trump’s February 9th Executive Order calling for the Department of Justice to “take the lead on Federal actions to support law enforcement efforts nationwide and to collaborate with State, tribal, and local jurisdictions to restore public safety to all of our communities.”
Posted in General News