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Baltimore, feds announce partnership to reduce violent crime

The Baltimore Police Department will partner with federal prosecutors and law enforcement to try to reduce violent crime in the city, the parties announced Tuesday.

The National Public Safety Partnership program is a “three-year engagement” between the U.S. Department of Justice and a local jurisdiction, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland. Baltimore was announced as a site for the program in June.

Officials gathered Tuesday at Baltimore Police Department headquarters to officially initiate the partnership, which involves the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and other federal law enforcement officials. Members of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, a Justice Department organization, were on hand to work with local law enforcement.

“Reducing violent crime in Baltimore is job one,” U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur said in a statement. “It’s what we in law enforcement think about morning, noon, and night.”

The Justice Department has directed nearly $15 million in customized training and technology to partnership sites, which have been established in 30 jurisdictions since 2017, according to the news release. Cities such as New Orleans and Milwaukee have experienced reductions in homicides since joining the program.

Baltimore has seen more than 300 homicides every year since 2015 and 177 in 2019 so far, according to data compiled by the Baltimore Sun.

“Reducing violent crime in Baltimore will require the hard work and dedication of people on the local, state and federal levels,” Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said in a statement. “This partnership is exactly the kind of collaboration that is needed to help make Baltimore a safer city.”

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