Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you, Mr. Attorney General – and thank you for your leadership on this critically important issue. I have no doubt that these additional resources will be put to good use – right away if not sooner – and will help make communities across the country safer.
As U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, my highest priority is protecting the people in our great city from threats here and abroad. We are a unique office – and not only because of our location right here in the nation’s capital. Our office prosecutes both federal and local offenses, from assault, to robbery, to homicide, to international terrorism.
It’s a huge responsibility, but thankfully, we have many partners. We work day and night with the FBI, ATF, DEA and a host of other federal agencies, as well as the men and women of the Metropolitan Police Department. We are in the community every day, and we know that people all across the city are behind our efforts. And we draw support from the Attorney General here at Main Justice.
That’s why we were so excited to see the emphasis you are placing on Project Safe Neighborhoods and the task force approach to getting dangerous offenders – and their guns and drugs – off the streets. We are busy right now, building on our longstanding relationships with law enforcement and the community at large to identify and address those areas in the District of Columbia that too often are terrorized with gunshots and the injuries and deaths that follow.
Much of this violence is related to drugs and neighborhood disputes. By going after the organizations and individuals behind that conduct, we can make our neighborhoods safer. And we are doing just that. Only last week, we joined with a task force to arrest and charge 12 people accused of distributing drugs in our city. Those arrests led to the recovery of large amounts of crack cocaine and methamphetamines, as well as seven guns.
As you know, bringing these cases is very labor-intensive, especially when we must continue to fully prosecute all of the other offenses for which we have responsibility. Even one additional AUSA can make a tremendous difference. The extra resources that are being announced today will help enormously and show those on the front lines of fighting crime that we share their commitment. We are grateful for this support and look forward to getting our reinforcements to work.
Thank you all very much. Merry Christmas and happy holidays.