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US Attorney General William Barr Visits Dallas, Touts Impact Of Project Safe Neighborhood

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced a $700,000 grant in Dallas on Wednesday for Project Safe Neighborhood, a federal program that not only helps prevent crime but uses federal law enforcement to fight it.

Of that, $119,000 will go to the Dallas Police Department.

Barr toured the Forest-Audelia boxing gym he says is a key to preventing violent crime.

"We are looking at expanding our operations to other cities and strengthening them in cities that are still experiencing an increase in crime," said Barr.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr
U.S. Attorney General William Barr with U.S. Sen. from Texas John Cornyn (CBS 11)

The U.S. Attorney for Dallas and Fort Worth, Erin Nealy Cox said during the program's first eight months, violent crime overall dropped by nearly 20% within the Project Safe Neighborhood.

Year over year though, violent crime in this area dropped by 3%.

City-wide though, violent crime is up by more than 17% year to date this year from the same time period last year.

The city saw an uptick in murders and violent crime in the spring.

"None of the city's 40 homicides that occurred in May occurred inside the neighborhood," said Cox.

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) passed a bill last year that brought Congressional funding for the program.

"It had previously waned in significance, but President Trump signed the bill that authorized Project Safe Neighborhood into law that breathed new life, I believe," Sen. Cornyn said.

CBS 11 asked the Attorney General what the city can do in the other areas with increased crime.

"I think we need a fully-staffed police department supported by the city to work with the federal and state law enforcement," said Barr.

When asked about what the Trump administration will propose following the deadly shooting rampages in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, Barr said, "The President has been consulting broadly particularly with members of Congress and the leadership on the Hill and when Congress returns from recess, I expect the administration as well as leaders on the Hill are going to be advancing some proposals."

In response to the roundtable, the Texas Democratic Party issued a statement criticizing Senator Cornyn:

The eyes of the world are watching. Cornyn must go back to Washington and vote on expanding background checks and limiting high capacity magazines. Texans deserve more than talk and roundtables. Texans want action now.

Following the El Paso shooting, Cornyn said, "This particular incident looks clearly to be the act of a white supremacist, an act of domestic terrorism. How you identify these people before they commit their crimes is really the puzzle that we have to try to be able to figure out how to solve."

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