Thank you all for being here – and for welcoming us back to Detroit. It was a privilege to join my Administration colleagues, and so many state and local leaders, for this afternoon’s roundtable discussion – which I know, and which I pledge, will form the basis of a constructive, ongoing dialogue.
Yesterday, I joined colleagues from the Justice Department and the FBI to announce guilty pleas, and significant criminal fines, from nine Japan-based companies and two executives for their involvement in conspiracies to rig bids and fix prices of auto parts sold to U.S. car manufacturers – including right here in Detroit. Today, I am pleased to be in Detroit to announce that – in addition to our ongoing enforcement of antitrust and consumer protection laws – as part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to supporting the City of Detroit, the Justice Department will take a variety of actions to provide direct assistance to city leaders and local law enforcement authorities in order to improve public safety throughout the metropolitan area.
First, through the Community Oriented Policing Services, or “COPS,” Office – we will award funding for 10 police officers, totaling nearly $1.9 million, to the Detroit Police Department. Nationally, the COPS Office is announcing today that it will award 263 agencies a total of $125 million to help fund nearly 1,000 law enforcement positions – including more than 350 school resource officers. Here in Detroit, we’ll also offer technical assistance to help the Police Department ensure the highest standards of professionalism and integrity among its officers – and to bring together a range of law enforcement executives, including Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and Camden Police Chief Scott Thomson – to advise Chief Craig as he moves to confront the challenges ahead.
Second, through the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs, we will award $1.5 million to Wayne County in the form of a Justice Assistance Grant – of which the City of Detroit will receive roughly $1 million. The majority of these funds will be used to purchase law enforcement technology and equipment to bolster the efficiency and effectiveness of law enforcement operations.
Third, through the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Justice Department also will award $100,000 to the Michigan Department of Corrections. This funding will support the Detroit Reentry Center Project – assisting with the release of parolees in Wayne County, and helping to contain future prison growth. These goals are in line with the “Smart on Crime” initiative I announced last month, which is designed to improve public safety, reduce recidivism, redirect criminal justice spending, and ensure fair and appropriate sentences – along with other positive outcomes.
Finally, through the Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, we will award more than $170,000 to Detroit to allow the city to continue its work as part of the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention.
The importance of all of these resources – and the difference they’ll make when it comes to ensuring the success of Detroit’s first responders – is clear. All of us are here today because we understand the importance of community engagement, and the power of broad-based partnerships, in reducing crime and combating violence.
But we also know that change won’t happen overnight. It won’t be easy. And that’s why – as Chief Craig and other city officials move forward – I want you all to know that this Administration, and this Justice Department in particular, will continue to stand with you, and work with you, to advance public safety imperatives.
I thank you, once again, for your leadership. And I look forward to everything that we will achieve together in the days ahead.