The federal program assists local police in combating violent crime
The Justice Department’s “Operation Legend” program, which assists local police in combating violent crime in major cities, is expanding to Cleveland, Detroit and Milwaukee, the DOJ announced Wednesday.
The initiative first launched in Kansas City, Mo., on July 8, and expanded to Chicago and Albuquerque one week ago.
“The most basic responsibility of government is to protect the safety of our citizens,” Attorney General William Barr said in a statement. “Today, we have extended Operation Legend to Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee, three cities that have seen disturbing increases in violent crime, particularly homicides. For decades, the Department of Justice has achieved significant success when utilizing our anti-violent crime task forces and federal law enforcement agents to enforce federal law and assist American cities that are experiencing upticks in violent crime.”
Those cities will see increased resources from the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that will aim to reduce crime, particularly gun violence.
The DOJ said that Cleveland has seen a 13 percent increase in homicides and a 35 percent increase in shootings since 2019. Detroit has fared worse, with homicides up 31 percent and shootings that resulted in wounds up 53 percent. In Milwaukee, homicides are up 85 percent and non-fatal shootings are up 64 percent, the department said.
Under the new expansion, more than 25 federal investigators will go to Cleveland, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance will provide up to $1 million to the city to support the program. More than 40 federal agents will go to Detroit, in addition to 10 ATF in the city who will be reassigned to violent gun crimes, and Detroit will get as much as $1.4 million from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, with as much as $1.9 million going to Milwaukee, which will also see the arrival of at least 25 federal investigators.
The program was named after LeGend Taliferro, a 4-year-old boy who was fatally shot last month while sleeping in his Kansas City apartment. The initiative began after Missouri’s Republican Gov. Mike Parson asked federal law enforcement to assist local police.
Fox News’ John Roberts and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.
Author: Ronn Blitzer