In this Friday, March 10, 2017, photo, Oakland police detectives and FBI agents work together in the offices of the Oakland Safe Streets Task Force in Oakland, Calif. Standing at left is Oakland homicide detective Jason Turner. The federal government already plays a big role in fighting violent crime in cities, through grants and partnerships. Ten FBI agents now share an office with Oakland detectives, offering help gathering evidence, collecting DNA, chasing leads and bringing federal prosecutions that carry longer sentences in far-away prisons. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Tight budgets could complicate Sessions' vow to fight crime

March 14, 2017 - 3:55 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions promises his Justice Department will lead the charge in helping cities fight violent crime. And police chiefs dealing with a spike in gun violence welcome the help.

Police chiefs say they want help processing evidence, tracing guns and prosecuting drug dealers as they combat drug addiction. Sessions and President Donald Trump have also ordered a task force on violent crime.

But the new effort to help them will put a strain on federal agencies already strapped for money and personnel.

Sessions is inheriting a Justice Department that built itself to fight terrorism. He has not said how he intends to change that focus, especially as Trump plans to slash nonmilitary budgets. More clarity could come Thursday when the Trump administration unveils its budget.

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