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The Federal Government is Allocating Close to $80 Million to Combat Violent Crime in the United States

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland (Credits: CNBC)

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has shared a detailed plan to strengthen law enforcement efforts and community-based programs to address violent crime across the United States.

Speaking at a conference for federal grant recipients in Chicago, Garland emphasized the importance of building on recent progress and curbing the surge of violence impacting many cities in the country.

Garland highlighted a drastic decrease in homicides, describing it as the largest drop in fifty years. He pointed to Chicago’s 13% reduction in violent crime as a positive outcome of targeted interventions.

The Attorney General attributed much of this progress to the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which empowered federal prosecutors to combat gun trafficking and straw purchases while providing $250 million in grants for community-based violence prevention initiatives.

Attorney General Merrick Garland (Credits: PBS)

Of this funding, Garland announced the immediate availability of $78 million to support organizations actively working to reduce violent crime and build trust within communities. He stressed that these funds would directly contribute to grassroots efforts addressing the root causes of violence and promoting safer neighborhoods nationwide.

In November, the Department of Justice (DOJ) allocated nearly $217 million to hire 1,730 entry-level officers at 394 agencies across 48 states through the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services hiring program.

There have been reports of decreasing violent crime rates in several major cities. According to federal data, Philadelphia and Baltimore each saw a 20% decrease in homicides between 2022 and 2023.

President Joe Biden also highlighted historically low murder rates in 2023 during his recent State of the Union address, noting a visible drop in violent crime levels over the past fifty years.

Despite these positive trends, certain states and cities face crime-related challenges. South Carolina, for instance, ranks eighth among the most dangerous states in America based on a Forbes magazine study, with a crime rate of 4.91 violent crimes per 1,000 residents.

However, a South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division report indicated an obvious 2.6% reduction in violent crime from 2021 to 2022, including a 12% decrease in homicides.

Merrick Garland (Credits: CNBC)

New York City has seen a roughly 7% increase in crime within its transit system in 2024 compared to the previous year. This rise includes various violent incidents and shootings, prompting Governor Kathy Hochul to deploy the National Guard to the subway system.

A great concern highlighted by Garland and other officials is the disproportionate risk faced by Black Americans, particularly young men, in becoming victims of violent crime.

Despite representing only 14% of the population, Black individuals account for 60% of firearm homicide victims annually, according to an analysis by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Hate crimes are also on the rise nationwide, as reported by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.

Their “Faith Under Fire” report, published in January, revealed an 11% increase in hate crimes from 2022 to 2023, with a surge in antisemitic and anti-Muslim hate crimes following the Israel-Hamas conflict.

While the FBI’s quarterly crime report showed a widespread decrease in violent crime in 2023 compared to the previous year, with a 13% decline in homicides, some cities experienced a rise in murders.

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