For Immediate Release
Attorney General William P. Barr Announces Launch of Operation Relentless Pursuit
Operation will surge federal law enforcement resources into seven of America’s most violent cities – including Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas
Attorney General William P. Barr today announced the launch of Operation Relentless Pursuit, an initiative aimed at combating violent crime in seven of America’s most violent cities – including the combined metropolitan area of Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas - through a surge in federal resources.
“Americans deserve to live in safety,” said Barr. “And while nationwide violent crime rates are down, many cities continue to see levels of extraordinary violence. Operation Relentless Pursuit seeks to ensure that no American city is excluded from the peace and security felt by the majority of Americans, while also supporting those who serve and protect in these communities with the resources, training, and equipment they need to stay safe.”
Joined at a press conference in Detroit, Michigan, by ATF Acting Director Regina Lombardo, DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and U.S. Marshals Service Director Donald W. Washington, Barr pledged to intensify federal law enforcement resources in Kansas City, Albuquerque, Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, Memphis, and Milwaukee – seven American cities with violent crime levels several times the national average.
U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister in Kansas and U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison in the Western District of Missouri, along with the federal law enforcement heads based in the Kansas City metropolitan area, announced their participation immediately following the Attorney General’s press conference.
“I am excited about this opportunity for the Kansas City metro area to take part in a program that will provide us more manpower and more money to fight crime,” McAllister said. “Relentless Pursuit will help us reach our goal of making everyone in our community safer. As the name of the operation indicates, we won’t stop until we achieve the goal of reducing violence in Kansas City.”
“Kansas City, which has been wracked by too much violence for too long, is participating in this national initiative to focus more federal law enforcement resources where they are needed most,” Garrison said. “Operation Relentless Pursuit will deploy more agents and officers with additional resources to confront the epidemic of violent crime in our community. The very name of this operation – Relentless Pursuit – is a warning to violent criminals: We will not stop until you are behind bars.”
“Driven by crime-gun intelligence, including the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network, firearms tracing data and our experience and expertise in investigating violent gun crime, ATF, as part of Operation Relentless Pursuit, will continue to identify and hold accountable the trigger pullers and firearms traffickers that expose our neighborhoods to violence,” said Marino Vidoli, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Kansas City Field Division.
“This operation will allow the DEA to enhance our existing forces in an effort to disrupt and dismantle violent drug trafficking organizations operating in the Kansas City metro area,” said Special Agent in Charge William Callahan. “These traffickers - including cartels and street gangs - will stop at nothing to turn a profit, often using violence and intimidation to expand their network.”
“The FBI remains committed to combatting violent crime throughout our city,” said Timothy R. Langan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI, Kansas City Division. “Through Operation Relentless Pursuit we will enhance existing forces to direct additional manpower and resources to target the hierarchy of criminal gangs and enterprises. Along with our federal, state and local partners we remain steadfast in our pursuit to dismantle and incapacitate the worst offenders responsible for violence in our community.”
“The U.S. Marshals Service will provide focused relentless pursuit of the most violent fugitives impacting the greater Kansas City area,” said U.S. Marshal Mark James of the Western District of Missouri. “We appreciate Attorney General Barr’s commitment of resources to help us in this fight.”
“Reducing violent crime in Kansas City will take a partnership involving law enforcement and the community,” said U.S. Marshal Ron Miller of the District of Kansas. “The U.S. Marshals Service is proud to work with our community every day, removing the most violent criminals from our streets.”
Operation Relentless Pursuit will involve increasing the number of federal law enforcement officers to the selected cities, as well as bulking up federal task forces through collaborative efforts with state and local law enforcement partners. The surge in federal agents will be complemented by a financial commitment of up to $71 million in federal grant funding that can be used to hire new officers, pay overtime and benefits, finance federally deputized task force officers, and provide mission-critical equipment and technology.