Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta Delivers Remarks Announcing New Nationwide Public Safety Commitments
The Department of Justice has no higher priority than keeping our communities safe.
So, I’m pleased to announce today steps the Justice Department is taking to help our state and local law enforcement partners, as well as school districts and community leaders in the fight against violent crime.
Today the Justice Department is announcing more than $334 million in grants to state and local law enforcement agencies, school districts, and local governments – these grants will go directly to those who are on the front lines and will strengthen public safety nationwide.
These new grants bring the Justice Department’s total investments in community safety to over $5.6 billion for fiscal year 2023
In a few moments, Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta will discuss these grants in more detail. But to summarize, the Department of Justice:
Is awarding over $216 million through the COPS Hiring Program – this will put more than 1,700 new police officers in communities across the country. These grants are going to nearly 400 police departments across the country to help them hire more officers.
The grants we are announcing today are also going to help school districts around the country create a safer environment for children.
We are awarding more than $73 million in School Violence Prevention grants to over 200 school districts and state and local governments to improve security at schools.
And finally, today’s announcement includes more than $43 million to 178 local governments and municipal organizations to support crisis-intervention teams, de-escalation training, and innovative community policing strategies.
These grants we are announcing today are a critical component of the Justice Department’s Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Violent Crime.
Our data-driven strategy uses federal resources as a force-multiplier in partnership with state and local law enforcement.
And this is a strategy that is yielding real results – results being seen and felt around the country in the form of reduced crime rates and increased public safety.
According to recent FBI statistics for 2021-2022, murder and manslaughter decreased by 6.4% and rape decreased nearly 8% nationwide.
And all the indications are that this downward trend in violent crime has continued into 2023.
But we absolutely recognize that violent crime continues to threaten too many American communities.
The key to continued progress is the partnerships we have with the law enforcement, community and local governments we are supporting with today’s grants.
That’s why our agents and prosecutors have been working over the last year on joint initiatives and operations that yielded real results:
Results in the form of thousands of arrests that have taken violent offenders off the streets.
Results in the form hundreds of thousands of investigative leads and gun traces to go after the most violent shooters and put them behind bars.
Results in the seizure of more than 13 million deadly doses of fentanyl
These efforts are paying concrete, measurable dividends evidenced by decreased rates of homicide and violent crime in cities across the country.
So, we will continue to invest in our state and local partners through efforts like the hundreds of millions of dollars in grants announced today.
Every day, police, educators, and community leaders are on the front lines of keeping the American people safe. And the Department of Justice is going to continue to have their backs.