Federal officers from five different agencies are set to arrive in Memphis and St. Louis to aid in crime reduction and investigations, the Department of Justice announced Thursday.
Memphis will receive 40 federal agents, 24 of which are permanent assignments, according to a Justice Department news release.
St. Louis is set to receive an unspecified number of agents from several federal agencies with an additional 50 Homeland Security agents, the release said.
“The most basic responsibility of government is to protect the safety of our citizens,” Attorney General William Barr said in the release.
“Today, we have extended Operation Legend to Memphis and St. Louis, two cities experiencing increases in violent crime that no resident of those cities should have to accept as part of everyday life.”
Memphis has experienced a 49 percent uptick in homicides, and St. Louis’ murders have spiked by nearly 34 percent, according to the Justice Department.
The move is part of Operation Legend, a nationwide program to assist local law enforcement in reducing the violent crime that has risen in some of America’s major cities following unrest sparked by the death of George Floyd.
The city of Memphis is also set to receive a large amount of funding, including $1.4 million to one county to provide new equipment and accommodate overtime for a gang task force and $9.8 million for the hiring of 50 new officers in the Memphis Police Department.
The St. Louis Police Department will be given $1 million to bolster violent crime investigations, the release read.
The Justice Department sent federal agents to Chicago, Albuquerque, Cleveland, Detroit and Milwaukee toward the end of July.
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