US attorney general cites dip in violent crime, touts effort

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during the Office of Justice Programs' National Institute of Justice Opioid Research Summit in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 25. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday cited high-profile arrests and declining violent crime figures as evidence that a crackdown that includes seeking long sentences is working in Utah and across the country.

Speaking at the Utah State Capitol, Sessions said federal authorities are “targeting the most dangerous people in the most violent areas.”

About 600 people attended then speech, including many Utah police officers, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

A year ago, Sessions restarted a federal program aimed at combating violent crime.

Project Safe Neighborhoods was a George W. Bush-era strategy that faded during the Obama administration.

Through the initiative, federal prosecutors have worked with local law enforcement agencies to target offenders in cases involving guns, drugs and gangs.

U.S. attorney for Utah John Huber also credited Project Safe Neighborhoods with contributing to reductions in crime rates.

Reports of violent crime dipped by 8 percent in Utah during 2017 compared to the prior year, Huber said.

Saying the work is far from over, Sessions announced that the Department of Justice is awarding $30 million in Project Safe Neighborhoods grants to 86 districts across the nation with Utah expected to receive $262,000.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.