After a long summer of spikes in crime in most major American cities, the top officer of the land along with leading authorities convened to ensure violent crime reduction, strengthening of relationships between law enforcement and citizens and safer communities across the U.S.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch along with Mayor Stephanie Rawlins-Blake of Baltimore, Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans, Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson of Gary and Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C., of the U.S. Conference of Mayors [USCM] convened on Monday, Nov. 16 to further discuss solutions in making America safer at the Department of Justice in Northwest.
“In recent months, we’ve been reminded that violence remains a grim reality in far too many neighborhoods,” Lynch said. “We’ve seen the harmful consequences of eroded trust between law enforcement and residents.”
“And we’ve witnessed painful examples of the dangers and uncertainties that our brave police officers face every day,” she said. “But we’ve also seen how hard work and productive partnerships can lead to real and important progress.”
Lynch asserted that through programs like the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice and the recommendations of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, they are taking innovative new approaches to criminal justice and community policing.
“In September, we expanded our Violence Reduction Network, which makes a wide range of Justice Department tools and services available to municipal authorities,” Lynch said.
“And we continue to offer local departments training, technical assistance and funding through our Office of Justice Programs and our Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, which has for years enjoyed a close and productive relationship with the USCM.”
The USCM stands as the official non-partisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more.
There are 1,407 such cities in the country today. Each city can be represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor.
The primary roles of the USCM are to promote the development of effective national urban and suburban policy, strengthen federal-city relationships, ensure that federal policy meets urban needs, provide mayors with leadership and management tools and create a forum where mayors can share ideas and information.
“In all these efforts and many more, we’re working tirelessly and creatively, through a variety of channels, to reduce violent crime, to promote officer safety and to restore community trust and security across the country,” Lynch said.
Lynch also emphasized the importance of input and participation from men and women who know their communities best.
“That’s why conversations like this one are so important: they allow us to share pressing concerns and innovative ideas; they give us a chance to evaluate our progress and to chart the way forward; and they reaffirm our shared commitment to a safer and stronger nation.”