Toledo one of a dozen cities to receive federal aid to fight crime

Toledo one of a dozen cities to receive federal aid to fight crime

(AP/WTOL) - The Justice Department says it will offer its resources to help 12 U.S. cities fight violent crime, including Toledo.

The department said Tuesday it will help local authorities study crime patterns and come up with plans to reduce violence. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says officials will come up with "data-driven, evidence-based strategies" that can be measured over time.

Since 2015, violent crimes in Toledo have been down, but the police department says they always welcome more help.

In the partnership, Toledo police will be shadowed and guided by the task force on crime reduction and public safety. They will be given pointers on areas to improve but also share techniques that have helped them cut down on violent crime.

"That is what this whole public safety strategy is all about - sharing best practices from a law enforcement agency," said Lt. Joe Heffernan, Toledo Police Department. "We are looking forward to having those extra resources and those people from across the country that we can share ideas with. And T think Toledo should be honored to be a part of it."

The other 11 cities included are:

  • Birmingham, Alabama
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Buffalo, New York
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Houston, Texas
  • Jackson, Tennessee
  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Lansing, Michigan
  • Springfield, Illinois

The Justice Department did not immediately explain how they were selected.

The announcement came at a gathering of federal and state law enforcement officials in Bethesda, Maryland. Sessions has said helping cities combat violence is a top priority for the Justice Department.

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