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Cleveland Tapped For $71 Million Federal Crime Fighting Program

Cleveland is one of seven cities eligible for $71 million in law enforcement grants under a new federal program.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced Operation Relentless Pursuit  at a Wednesday press conference in Detroit. In addition to Cleveland and Detroit, eligible cities include Memphis, Baltimore, Kansas City, Milwaukee and Albuquerque.

“We selected these cities based on a number of factors, obviously the level of violent of crime,” Barr said. “But we also assessed our local partners.”

Barr met with local law enforcement during a November visit to Cleveland, hinting at the time that a funding announcement could be coming soon.

The Department of Justice has not yet begun awarding the grants, nor has a Request for Proposals (RFP) been released. According to Barr, there will be enough funding for up to 400 additional police officers across the cities awarded funds.

The federal government also will send out agents to form federal-state task forces to all seven cities, even if they do not receive funding.

“This is our principal tool for addressing violent crime in our cities and it is an effective tool,” Barr said.

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio Justin Herdman said crime in Cleveland has decreased, but this money will let them go after the most violent fugitives.

“If you’re wanted, this would be a good time to turn yourself in. If you’re committing violent crimes, this would be an excellent time to stop. And if either of those things don’t happen, you’re going to be found in 2020,” said Herdman.

According to U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott, there are about 8,000 violent fugitives in the Cleveland area that will be targeted under Operation Relentless Pursuit.

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