In a speech given by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in Macon on Thursday, he addressed his concern over violent crime in America and reducing recidivism.
Sessions opened by thanking several federal officers who attended the event but wanted to recognize the important work of state and local officers as well.
While we are inexpressibly proud of our fabulous federal officers, we also understand and appreciate the fact that 85 percent of the law enforcement officers in this country serve at the state and local levels. It is simple arithmetic that we cannot succeed without you. - Sessions
He went on to explain that the Department of Justice's goal is to be a "force multiplier" for law enforcement, and said that one of his most important goals as attorney general is to restore officer morale.
In recent years, too many of you were taken for granted, ignored, or even maligned by political leaders. President Trump came into office determined to change that.
But even now, there are still many politicians who don’t appreciate you.
Earlier this week, a U.S. Senator called our justice system “racist...And when I say our system, I mean all the way. I mean front to back…on the front end—what you declare to be illegal—[and] on how you enforce it, on who gets arrested.” - Sessions
Sessions said that this was a slander to every law officer and prosecutor in America.
And so this slur isn’t just wrong. It’s sad.
Also this week, a crowd of protesters in Philadelphia chanted “no good cops in a racist system.”
Our officers face enough challenges—long and unpredictable work days, threats from violent criminals, and exposure to dangerous drugs, to name a few. The last thing that you need are political leaders and fellow citizens disrespecting you and the goals that you work so hard to accomplish. - Sessions
He then explained that he sends a condolence letter every time an officer dies in the line of duty and that he has had to send 70 letter so far this year.
Officers are being killed and wounded to keep people safe—even the protesters who treat them with disdain and the politicians who call them names.
And so I wanted to be here to tell you that this President and I support you. We respect you. And we value your work.
We affirm the critical role of police officers in our society and we will not participate in anything that would give comfort to criminals or radicals who promote agendas that preach hostility rather than respect for police.
We know whose side we’re on. We’re on the side of law enforcement. We are implacable foes of criminals – like you.
We’re also on the side of crime victims.
That's when Sessions announced that the Department of Justice will award $3.4 billion to states for victims services.
This funding will cover costs like medical fees, lost income, funeral expenses, and other costs.
Almost all of the funds—$3.3 billion—will come from fines, fees, and special assessments paid by criminals, not the taxpayer. So this grant is helping crime victims and it’s also holding criminals accountable.
In a statement from the Department of Justice, it said that programs in all of the states will receive almost $129 million to help victims.
Victim compensation programs, operating in all 50 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia, are receiving almost $129 million to reimburse victims and survivors for medical fees, lost income, dependent care, funeral expenses, and other costs. This compensation is often a lifeline to victims who face enormous financial setbacks on top of the emotional strife they experience. - DOJ
“Americans suffer from millions of violent acts every year, and only a fraction of victims get the help they so desperately need and deserve,” said OVC Director Darlene Hutchinson. “This historically large funding will vastly expand the network of services available, allowing state and local officials to determine where resources are needed so that survivors in every corner of our country have a place they can turn to for support.”
If you would like to read Sessions' full speech from Thursday, you can do so here.
You can also see the details released on the grant to aid crime victims on the Department of Justice's website.
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