TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - In his speech Monday at the US Attorney's Office in Toledo, Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he is targeting violent crime in cities across the country, including Toledo.
Sessions says violent crimes of murder and rape are on the rise both in Toledo and nationally. In response, he will send Federal agencies and prosecutors help to local law enforcement.
"We are marshaling our resources and we will be relentless in our pursuit of violent criminals that are victimizing your neighborhoods," Sessions said. "We know our police are not the problem. They are the solution."
Some of the statistics Sessions cited in his speech did not match what Toledo Police Chief George Kral reported in his recent State of the Department address.
"And I'm wondering where they got that information as well," Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson said.
The mayor was not invited to Sessions's address, but she read the transcript and was briefed on the visit by Chief Kral. She says crime here is not spiking the way the Department of Justice reports.
She thinks there is another reason Toledo is one of 12 cities nationwide selected for the DOJ's "Violent Crime Initiative." She says it could be because of our outstanding police force.
"Sometimes there's a thing about low-hanging fruit," Mayor Hicks-Hudson said. "And I believe that our police chief and our officers are as highly trained and skilled as they are, while we're not making the type of inroads I'd like to make we are making some inroads."
But the Mayor-elect Wade Kapszukiewicz sees it differently.
Kapszukiewicz wonders why larger cities like Chicago and Washington DC, are not on the list. He thinks it could be political.
"Why were three strategic cities in the swing state of Ohio picked as opposed to cities that might face a larger crime issue?" Kapszukiewicz said.
But just as Mayor Hicks-Hudson is doing, he will also be open to what the federal agencies offer.
"We will learn more about this and I will sit down with the chief and learn more," Kapszukiewicz said. "And if this is an honest attempt to help make Toledo streets safer, then we're all about it and we're going to make it work. "