KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department has received more than $5 million in federal grants from the U.S. Department of Justice to support the city’s efforts to reduce violent crime, announced U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison.
“Operation Relentless Pursuit surges federal resources to help our state and local partners in their fight to drive down violent crime in Kansas City,” Garrison said. “Providing the resources to deploy additional police officers with a strategic focus will help us fight violent crime by investigating, arresting, and prosecuting drug traffickers and criminals with guns.”
The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) and the Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance this week announced a total of more than $61 million in grant funding to support Operation Relentless Pursuit in seven cities. Launched on Dec. 18, 2019, Operation Relentless Pursuit aims to intensify federal law enforcement resources into seven American cities with violent crime levels several times the national average – the Kansas City metropolitan area (including both Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas), Albuquerque, Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, Memphis, and Milwaukee.
In addition to the $3,675,522 COPS grant announced this week, the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department recently received a $1,428,571 grant through the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Grant funding will be used to hire 18 additional positions, including nine police officers to replace experienced officers deployed to the Operation Relentless Pursuit task force. Grant funding also will be used for technological enhancements.
“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.”
The COPS Office, through its COPS Hiring Program (CHP), awarded a total of $51 million 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. 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. In addition, they are required to work with their respective U.S. Attorney’s Office 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 the 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: https://cops.usdoj.gov/pdf/2020AwardDocs/chp/FY20_Relentless_Pursuit_Fact_Sheet.pdf
The Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance is making $10 million available to support Operation Relentless Pursuit. These 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.”