Good morning, Tulsa! Good morning to everyone here. It is great to be with you this morning!
It is an honor to join you to kick off the National Public Safety Partnership Violent Crime Reduction Summit.
I am pleased to be joined this morning by so many leaders in law enforcement – including those of you representing current PSP sites. I see DOJ’s law enforcement components – they usually leave Washington to get away from me. Surprise!
I want to thank the Summit’s organizers, particularly those in the Office of Justice Programs and Bureau of Justice Assistance, who helped bring us all together.
Thank you to Amy Solomon and Karhlton Moore for your commitment to the work of the National Public Safety Partnership.
Thank you especially to our Tulsa hosts. I particularly want to acknowledge U.S. Attorney Clinton Johnson, U.S. Marshal Clayton Johnson, Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin, Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler and Mayor G.T. Bynum.
I am pleased to be joined by Attorney General Geri Wisner of the Muscogee Creek Nation and Attorney General Sara Hill of the Cherokee Nation.
The presence of so many law enforcement and community leaders from across the nation speaks volumes about the commitment we all share to uniting our experience, uniting our expertise – to joining forces to keep our communities safe.
The National Public Safety Partnership — PSP — represents the best of what we can do together when we approach this mission with unity of purpose – and unity of effort.
PSP provides our law enforcement partners with better tools, it puts resources where they are needed most, and it empowers communities to stand together to reduce violent crime.
The Department of Justice has no higher priority than keeping the American people safe.
The latest FBI crime statistics make clear that our efforts – especially when it comes to violent crime – remain urgent.
Our communities and the law enforcement professionals who serve them face incredibly daunting challenges.
We saw a record jump in homicides in 2020, and the number of violent crimes is still at an alarmingly high level.
That includes an epidemic of gun violence fueled by illicit trafficking networks.
And today, communities – and in particular, our children – are being devastated by a fentanyl crisis – fueled by violent criminal drug cartels.
Fentanyl is the deadliest drug threat we face as a nation and last year it contributed to the record number of Americans – more than 107,000 – who died from drug poisoning or overdose.
Today, more than ever, law enforcement is being asked to handle a wide array of challenges while the job itself is getting more dangerous.
Last year, 73 officers were murdered while on the job – the highest number since 9/11. It takes a special kind of public servant to get up every morning and put their lives on the line for a stranger. I want to thank each and every one of you who do and the communities who support them.
Our communities – and the law enforcement professionals who serve them – are safer when they have the tools, and the technology, they need to do their jobs.
Every jurisdiction – large, small, rural, urban – faces unique challenges and no one can tackle them alone.
That’s why the Attorney General and I have placed working shoulder-to-shoulder with our partners, in community driven strategies – at the center of our Violent Crime Reduction Strategy.
Our strategy is built on four pillars:
- Focusing our enforcement efforts on the most significant drivers of violent crime – including gun violence.
- Fostering trust with and earning legitimacy in our communities.
- Investing in community-based prevention and intervention programs.
- And measuring the results of those efforts by impact, through a decrease in violent crime.
By supporting law enforcement operations, increasing interagency coordination, and building trust with communities, the National Public Safety Partnership is an important part of all these efforts.
Across more than 50 sites in communities nationwide, the Justice Department — through PSP — is deploying data driven, evidence-based strategies tailored to local needs. And that’s the key – tailored to local needs.
And this past October, we added six new sites to this network — Albuquerque, Greensboro, Rochester, Sacramento, Tucson and Washington, D.C.
Across the country, PSP is working with local police departments to engage with criminal justice stakeholders and community partners to address violent crime. And these partnerships play a critical role in furthering the department’s mission:
Upholding the rule of law, protecting civil rights and keeping the American people safe.
As Deputy Attorney General, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to be able to see this work in action. I’ve visited PSP sites — in Chicago, Newark, New Jersey, Charleston, South Carolina and Philadelphia, to name a few — I’ve seen the hard work and the promise for communities that these partnerships are yielding.
Community members and the leaders I’ve met have shared how violent crime, and especially gun violence, ravages their communities.
Law enforcement leaders and cops on the beat have talked about the importance of building trust with the communities they serve and the need for critical resources to combat violent crime but also, its root causes.
But I’ve also heard about the power of partnerships forged through PSP and the difference they make in our communities.
In Newark, community members and law enforcement leaders are building innovative community-led strategies to intervene and prevent violent crime and to build trust between law enforcement and the community.
In Chicago and Philadelphia, law enforcement is using cutting edge technology — in coordination with federal partners — to identify the most significant drivers of violent crime and to go after them.
And in Charleston, PSP is bringing benefits from leveraging law enforcement expertise and pooling it with dedicated prosecutorial resources to promote public safety.
So much of the success of PSP’s work relies on a core principle: supporting law enforcement and community partners with the tools they need to deploy data driven, evidence-based strategies tailored to local needs.
One of the most important tools that the department can deploy to help our partners combat gun crime and gun violence is the development and use of crime gun intelligence.
At more than 25 PSP sites, agencies have enhanced their crime gun intelligence capacity through federal partnerships with the ATF.
And under the leadership of Director Dettelbach, ATF is leading the way in using technology to help our partners combat violent crime and gun violence.
One of the most important tools we have in this regard is the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network – or NIBIN.
NIBIN provides timely ballistics information in fast moving investigations – and is a unique resource that ATF can provide for our partners.
Collecting and analyzing fired casings and crime guns is at the heart of identifying shooters and solving gun crimes.
The intelligence derived from this data can link shootings to each other and to the criminals who commit them – and take those shooters off the street.
NIBIN turns evidence that law enforcement collects at crime scenes into the ability to identify, investigate, and prosecute violent criminals.
The Department is committed to helping our partners leverage cutting edge tools like NIBIN to combat violent crime and gun violence – and we are determined to do all we can as Federal law enforcement as part of this effort.
That’s why today I am announcing a new policy to increase the use of NIBIN.
Under this policy, all firearms and fired cartridge casings recovered in connection with every criminal investigation opened by the Department, including by Department-funded task force operations, must be analyzed and entered into NIBIN.
And because time is of the essence in linking crime guns, this policy makes clear that Department agents and investigators should strive to enter ballistics data into NIBIN within 48 hours – but no later than 14 days – unless there are unexpected or extenuating circumstances. We are making sure we are linking guns to those shooters, so we can take them off the streets, before they shoot again.
PSP is all about providing different jurisdictions with tailored resources and strategies.
Here in Tulsa, PSP has helped develop more effective crime analysis to inform data-driven violent crime reduction strategies and helped launch a new victim services unit and incorporating victim advocates into cases.
In Tucson and Detroit, these PSP sites are joining the Office on Violence Against Women’s strategy for preventing domestic violence killings by reducing perpetrators’ access to guns.
And across the country PSP is also using cutting edge technology and training to deliver innovative solutions to the field.
PSP’s Virtual Academy provides online training to thousands of law officers from dozens of agencies.
PSP is making the best of federal law enforcement training available to our state, local, and tribal partners across the country.
At the end of the day, PSP is about harnessing what works and expanding it and that approach is having tangible results.
PSP analysis shows that sites are seeing greater reductions in crime the longer they are engaged in PSP.
Across the country, sites are implementing new strategies, engaging with communities, opening lines of communication, and fostering partnerships.
These efforts require significant resources and Congress has the opportunity to provide the critical resources we need in our communities to support these efforts and those of our state and local partners.
The Attorney General and I are determined to fight for these investments – that’s why the President’s budget for 2023 includes a request for the Justice Department for almost $11.2 billion to tackle violent crime.
This includes more than $1 billion in new investments in reducing gun violence and violent crime, as well as sustained investments of $3 billion in programs, like PSP, that help communities tackle violent crime.
We will continue fighting to make sure we have the resources we need to support the partnerships so critical to our mission.
The National Public Safety Partnership reflects our commitment to ensure that those of you who are on the front lines have access to the resources, the information, the tools and the experts to do the job.
Thank you for your partnership and for all you do day in and day out to fulfill our shared mission of keeping our communities safe.