Department of Justice Announces Operation Relentless Pursuit

In a press conference on Wednesday, Attorney General (AG) William Barr announced the start of Operation Relentless Pursuit. The initiative is aimed at combatting violent crime in the seven most violent cities in the country through an influx of federal resources.

During the conference, AG Barr pledged to increase federal assistance in Albuquerque, Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Memphis, and Milwaukee to combat their violent crime levels “several times” the national average.

This assistance will come in the form of increased federal law enforcement personnel and “bulking up” federal task forces to collaborate with state and local law enforcement. The operation includes a financial commitment of up to $71 million in federal grant funding to hire new officers, pay overtime and benefits, finance federally deputized task force officers, and provide mission-critical equipment and technology.

“Americans deserve to live in safety,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “And while nationwide violent crime rates are down, many cities continue to see levels of extraordinary violence. Operation Relentless Pursuit seeks to ensure that no American city is excluded from the peace and security felt by the majority of Americans, while also supporting those who serve and protect in these communities with the resources, training, and equipment they need to stay safe.”

The operation combines the resources of several federal law enforcement agencies.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Acting Director Regina Lombardo explained, “Operation Relentless Pursuit combines the resources of ATF, DEA, FBI, and U.S. Marshals to support our state and local law enforcement partners in those cities that – regrettably – continue to be plagued by rates of violent crime that are simply too high. Through Relentless Pursuit, we pledge to hold accountable the trigger-pullers, firearm traffickers, violent criminals and those who supply them the guns to terrorize our communities. ATF will aggressively utilize every available tool, including our crime gun enforcement teams, National Integrated Ballistic Information Network and firearms tracing to identify, investigate and support the prosecution of the most violent firearm offenders.”

AG Barr and Acting Director Lombardo were joined by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon, FBI Director Christopher A. Wray, and U.S. Marshals Service Director Donald W. Washington in Detroit, Michigan to announce the operation.

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