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US attorneys praise crime reduction program

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Alabama praised the revival of a Department of Justice program that targets gun and gang violence.

Local news outlets report the three U.S. attorneys, appointed by President Donald Trump, held a Friday news conference lauding the success of “Project Safe Neighborhoods.” They said it has led to a reduction in violent crime.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions last year announced the renewed emphasis of the crime fighting strategy initiated under President George W. Bush but that had fallen out of favor in recent years.

U.S. Attorney Jay Town of Alabama’s Northern District said the partnership has led to the prosecution of more violent criminals in the federal court system.

“They’re going to Montana to serve their sentence in a federal prison where there’s no sanctuary of parole,” Town said, according to WSFA .

In Montgomery, a priority was placed on firearm prosecutions. A task force targeted areas with high number of shootings.

“In late 2017, Montgomery needed help. Too many people were illegally carrying guns, too many people were being shot, too many people were living in fear,” U.S. Attorney Louis Franklin said, according to the Montgomery Advertiser .

Franklin said they went after the “worst of the worst.”

He said Montgomery saw an almost 16 percent decline in violent crime by May 2018.

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