U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant this week announced $398,864 in Department of Justice grant funding awarded to the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office to hire special prosecutors to try federal firearms cases originating in Memphis.
This according to a press release that officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Tennessee published on their website this week.
The award supports violence reduction efforts as part of Operation LeGend and other Department-led initiatives in cities across the country. An additional $500,000 is available to support a Real Time Crime Center in Memphis that will provide police with rapid intelligence and instant information to help identify emerging crime patterns, the press release said.
“Keeping its citizens safe is the primary responsibility of government,” said Attorney General William P. Barr in the press release.
“Cities plagued by violent crime need the resources to tackle it, and these grant awards will help do that. On the enforcement side, Real Time Crime Centers will make policing more efficient and targeted; and on the prosecution side, Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys (SAUSAs) will help bring more federal firearms cases to justice.”
Barr announced that the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs is making up to $5.3 million available in grants to support Operation LeGend sites nationwide. More than $1.3 million will fund special prosecutors who have been cross-designated to try federal firearms cases originating in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Kansas City, Missouri; Memphis, Tennessee; and St. Louis, Missouri, according to the press release.
In addition, these and other LeGend cities are eligible for up to $500,000 in grant funding to support Real Time Crime Centers. The press release said these centers are “a considerable financial investment for any law enforcement agency.” The press release also said that “the funding can assist police departments in purchasing critical equipment and paying for the overtime to keep these centers staffed around the clock.”
“A grant to the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office will support the hiring of two (2) full-time local prosecutors who will be empowered to try firearms cases in federal court. Prosecuting gun crimes is central to the Justice Department’s strategy under Operation LeGend and other violence reduction initiatives led by the Department,” the press release said.
“These efforts follow a sustained, systematic and coordinated approach to gun violence in which federal law enforcement agencies work closely with state and local officials to fight violent crime. Funding comes from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), a component of the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs.”
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