U.S. Marshals Bring Expertise to Attorney General’s New Effort to Reduce Violent Crime

8 mins read

Washington – Attorney General
Merrick B. Garland today announced a new Department of Justice effort to
help protect our communities from the recent increase in major violent
crimes.

“Today, we renew our commitment to reducing
violent crime and building strong communities where all Americans are
safe,” said Attorney General Garland. “The Deputy Attorney General is
issuing a comprehensive strategy to deploy our federal resources in the
most effective way, disrupting the most dangerous threats and supporting
the ground-level efforts of local law enforcement. In this endeavor, we
will engage our communities as critical partners. And through our
grantmaking, we will support programming at all stages – from the
earliest violence interruption strategies to post-conviction reentry
services.”

The strategy announced today is three-pronged.
First, it establishes a set of four fundamental principles to be applied
Department-wide to guide violent crime reduction:

I. Build trust and earn legitimacy. Meaningful
law enforcement engagement with, and accountability to, the community
are essential underpinnings of any effective strategy to address violent
crime, as well as important ends in themselves. Accordingly, building
trust and earning legitimacy within our communities is the foundation on
which the strategy is built.

II. Invest in prevention and intervention
programs. Violent crime is not a problem that can be solved by law
enforcement alone. Accordingly, the Department must invest in
community-based violence prevention and intervention programs that work
to keep violence from happening before it occurs.

III. Target enforcement efforts and priorities.
The Department is most effective when it focuses its limited enforcement
resources on identifying, investigating, and prosecuting the most
significant drivers of gun violence and other violent crime.

IV. Measure results. Because the fundamental
goal of this work is to reduce the level of violence in our communities,
not to increase the number of arrests or prosecutions as if they were
ends in themselves—we must measure the results of our efforts on these
grounds.

The whole-of-Department approach means that these
four fundamental principles will guide not only the Department’s 94 U.S.
Attorneys’ offices, but also its law enforcement components (the Bureau
of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Drug
Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI), and the United States Marshals Service (USMS)), its grant-making
components (the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), the Office of
Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), and the Office of Victims
of Crime (OVC)), and litigating divisions, such as the Criminal
Division.

Second, the strategy enhances the Project Safe
Neighborhoods (PSN) program by directing all U.S. Attorneys across the
country to update their PSN programs to be aligned with the Department’s
guiding principles to improve community engagement, support proven
community-violence intervention programs, develop strategic enforcement
plans in coordination with state, local, and Tribal law enforcement
partners as well as community groups, and measure the effectiveness of
these collective efforts to reduce violence. By drawing on lessons
learned from research and experience over the past two decades, the
Department will help ensure that PSN remains the leading initiative
bringing together law enforcement partners at all levels and a broad
array of community stakeholders to develop comprehensive solutions to
the more pressing violent crime problems in our communities.


Third, the strategy directs each U.S. Attorney’s
Office to work with its state, local, federal, Tribal, and community
partners to establish an immediate plan to address spikes in violent
crime that are typically seen during the summer.

The Department recognizes that there is no
one-size-fits-all solution and that the needs of each jurisdiction will
vary based on the nature of violent crimes and the ability of local
criminal justice systems to respond. Thus, the Department has committed
to providing the following additional support where it is needed and
appropriate:

  • The FBI will make available cutting-edge
    analytical resources to support state and local law enforcement
    efforts to identify the most violent offenders and most dangerous
    criminal organizations in communities. The FBI will then deploy
    agents to assist with enforcement operations targeting these
    entities.

  • Where feasible, the ATF will embed with local
    homicide units and expand the availability of its NIBIN Correlation
    Center, which matches ballistics from crime scenes to other
    ballistic evidence nationwide.

  • The DEA will focus its efforts, in
    coordination with state, local and Tribal law enforcement, to
    disrupt the activities of the most violent drug trafficking gangs
    and egregious drug-trafficking organizations operating in the
    highest-crime areas.

  • The United States Marshals Service, in
    coordination with state and local authorities, will conduct fugitive
    sweeps throughout the country focused on individuals subject to
    state or local warrants for homicide, aggravated assault with a
    firearm, aggravated robbery, robbery with a firearm, rape or
    aggravated sexual assault.

  • The Department’s grantmaking components will
    highlight funding opportunities for community programs focused on
    reducing gun violence and other violent crime, share information
    about effective community-violence intervention programs, and
    provide training and technical assistance to support the violent
    crime reduction work of state, local, tribal and community partners.

“The U.S. Marshals Service is proud to join with
our law enforcement partners in a coordinated response to reduce violent
crime. This focused effort, launched by Attorney General Merrick
Garland, coordinates USMS resources to locate and arrest the most
violent felony fugitives. Every day, our deputy marshals and task force
officers round up hundreds of fugitives from justice, but this
initiative brings a renewed focus on areas where local law enforcement
has seen a surge in violent crime,” said USMS Director Donald W.
Washington. “We know that by focusing on the most dangerous criminals in
our nation, we’re able to make significant reductions in the extreme
violence they facilitate. This summer, our USMS personnel will enhance
our collaboration with our federal, state, local and tribal partners to
reduce the violent firearm related crime that plagues far too many
cities. I am proud to lead the men and women of the U.S. Marshals
Service as we launch this new initiative to make America’s communities
safer.”

To learn more, see the
Deputy
Attorney General’s detailed guidance
to federal prosecutors, law
enforcement agencies, and other components across the Department of
Justice. A Fact Sheet on 2021 Grant Opportunities and Other Resources to
Support Violent Crime Reduction can be found
here.


Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found
at http://www.usmarshals.gov.

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America’s
First Federal Law Enforcement Agency