The Justice Department and the City of Philadelphia are teaming up to tackle violent crime with a new partnership initiative that officials say is needed in a time of shrinking budgets and growing demand.
The newly formed Violent Crime Reduction Partnership in Philadelphia will filter more federal resources to local law enforcement in areas in need of additional help. The partnership has been underway since the beginning of June and the preliminary results are positive, said Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday in Philadelphia.
“Especially in this time of economic and budgetary challenges – when police departments and other agencies at every level of government have been called upon to confront growing demands with increasingly limited resources – the need for cooperation and coordination among all relevant authorities has never been more clear,” Holder said according to prepared remarks.
Six weeks ago, more than 50 federal officers began what the Justice Department is calling a four-month “surge” in resources to combat violent crime in Philadelphia. The federal officials, from the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Marshals Service, are aiding local law enforcement, including the police department and Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.
This follows a similar surge earlier this year in Oakland, Calif., in which ATF officials worked with the local police department to prevent violent crime in the California city.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Zane Memeger were also on hand for the joint announcement on Monday afternoon.