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Press Release

Operation Relentless Pursuit initiative in Cleveland to receive $10 million in awards to support efforts to combat violent crime

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio announced that the Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) and the Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance have awarded more than $61 million in grant funding to support the Attorney General’s Operation Relentless Pursuit (ORP) initiative. Of that $61 million, Cleveland area law enforcement will receive approximately $10 million in awards.

Launched on Dec. 18, 2019, ORP aims to intensify federal law enforcement resources into seven American cities with violent crime levels several times the national average - Albuquerque, Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Memphis, and Milwaukee.

The award breakdown for Cleveland area law enforcement is as follows:

  1. Cleveland Division of Police– $7,968,944 for funding 30 position.
  2. Ohio State Highway Patrol & Ohio Investigative Unit – $1,281,658 for funding 5 positions.
  3. Ohio Division of Adult Parole Authority – $752,014 for funding 4 positions.

These awards will allow for the hiring of additional law enforcement officers to combat violent crime through the Operation Relentless Pursuit initiative.

“While violent crime is down across the country as a whole, some communities remain caught in the grips of violent actors,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “That’s why I launched Operation Relentless Pursuit last December – an initiative to combat violent crime in seven cities where it remains stubbornly high. Today’s grant awards are critical to our mission. We cannot succeed in eradicating crime without resources – the most vital of which are the brave men and women who serve and protect our communities each day. These funds will boost the forces that need them most.”

“This funding from the Department of Justice is an important commitment in our continued fight against violent crime in Cleveland’s neighborhoods,” said U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman. “These awards will help hire more police officers, highway patrol, adult parole officers, and investigators to help combat violent crime on the streets of our city. Operation Relentless Pursuit will enable us to continue building partnerships between multiple law enforcement divisions in order to better serve the public and bring dangerous, violent criminals to justice.”

The COPS Office, through its COPS Hiring Program (CHP), awarded a total of $51 million to be used to hire 214 sworn law enforcement officers for state and local law enforcement task forces. The recipients of the funding will deploy existing veteran officers to task force duties and use the CHP funding to hire new recruits to backfill those positions, as practical. Officers deployed to

Operation Relentless Pursuit task forces as a result of CHP funding must be sworn, career law enforcement officers of the awarded agency, and their work on the task force must benefit their jurisdiction. In addition, they are required to work with their respective U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) and rel­evant federal agencies to investigate and prosecute suspects involved in gangs, drug trafficking, and other violent crime– related issues.

“Successful strategies to target and reduce violent crime are extremely resource intensive,” said COPS Office Director Phil Keith.  “There is no greater resource than additional men and women on the front lines of relentless fight against gangs, drug traffickers and those that mean harm to our nation’s communities.  The funding announced today is greatly needed for the Operation Relentless Pursuit jurisdictions and the COPS Office is honored to dedicate resources for this effort.”

For more information on the COPS Hiring Program ORP grants, please visit:

The Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) is making $10 million available to support Operation Relentless Pursuit. BJA funds will support efforts such as the hiring of additional prosecutors, overtime expenses for task force members, multi-agency investigations, mobile data terminals and modern technological platforms, and development of strategic plans to address gaps in combating violent crime.

“The responsibility for fighting crime and violence belongs to agencies at every level of government, and winning that fight turns on our ability to deploy our collective resources wisely and effectively,” said Office of Justice Programs Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan. “We are eager to make these funds available so that our federal, state and local partners can continue the vital and noble work of protecting America’s most dangerous communities.”

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at



Daniel Ball
(216) 622-3921

Updated May 13, 2020