Attorney general unveils 12-city partnership to fight crime

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A spike in violent crime in 2015 continued into the first half of last year, with big cities seeing an average increase in murders of nearly 22 percent compared with the same period the year before, Sessions said.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during the Justice Department's National Summit on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, in Bethesda, Md., on Tuesday, June 20, 2017.

Buffalo is among 12 cities that will participate in the Department of Justice's new National Public Safety Partnership.

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The Justice Department says it will offer its resources to help 12 US cities fight violent crime.

"Each American deserves to live in a safe neighborhood - free from violent crime and drugs; free from fear; and free to live their lives and pursue their dreams", Sessions said on Tuesday.

Buffalo's designation won't bring any additional funding to the city, as this is not a grant program.

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Even if we assume that every drug offender who got relief under Holder's policy was a violent predator in disguise, there were not enough of them, and they would not have been free soon enough, to have any noticeable impact on the crime rate. But the department will send agency employees and experts to work with them to develop strategies and tactics to best fight violent crime, Sessions said. "The preliminary data for the first half of 2016 shows further increases with large cities seeing an average increase in murders of almost 22% compared with the same period the year before".

In addition to violent crime, reports for all types of crime were lower in 2015 than at any point in at least the last 25 years.

In all, 12 cities were selected to take part in the PSP: Memphis, Birmingham, Indianapolis, Toledo, Baton Rouge, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Houston, Jackson, Kansas City, Lansing and Springfield. Non-fatal shootings have increased 64 percent from 2014 to 2016.

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The program features a three-year initiative to help coordinate crime-fighting efforts among federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement and prosecutors, Sessions said in unveiling the new National Public Safety Partnership.