WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressman Kweisi Mfume (all D-Md.) announced that the U.S. Department of Justice is increasing the number of Assistant U.S. Attorneys, FBI agents, DEA agents, and ATF agents in Maryland and the Baltimore metropolitan area to bolster efforts to combat violent crime and improve safety in the City, which in 2023 is finally seeing a reduction in homicides and non-fatal shootings at the half-year mark of 2023. DOJ’s action comes after the lawmakers worked to increase funding for public safety agencies and programs as part of the Fiscal Year 2023 government funding legislation, as well as their urging in follow-up meetings and correspondence with DOJ leaders to direct an additional share of those resources to Baltimore. The Members announced the new DOJ resources after holding a meeting Wednesday with Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, Baltimore City Administrator Faith Leach, and Acting Baltimore Police Department Commissioner Richard J. Worley, Jr.
“Improving public safety in Baltimore is one of our top priorities, and it requires an all-hands-on-deck approach. That’s why we’ve been working tirelessly to bring additional federal resources to the City and state to combat violent crime. We’re pleased to announce that the Department of Justice is delivering on these requests, increasing the federal law enforcement resources in our City and state. Specifically, in response to our urging, DOJ will be providing five new AUSAs, four new FBI agents, four new DEA agents, and two new ATF agents, among additional support staff, analysts, and investigators. We’re grateful to the Department of Justice for heeding our calls to equip Baltimore and Maryland with new resources to address public safety. We can and must do more to combat violent crime in Baltimore, but the dedication of more federal law enforcement agents and prosecutors reflects our commitment to holding accountable those who are fueling the senseless and tragic cycle of gun violence plaguing our City. Together with targeted investments we have secured for community-led early intervention and employment programs, these additional resources are a needed boost for our all-of-government, all-of-community approach to public safety,” said the lawmakers.
“Our federal law enforcement partners are a critical component in achieving our public safety goals, and this increased capacity is a welcome addition to Baltimore’s public safety apparatus as we continue our progress in reducing homicides by more than 20 percent and removing illegal guns from our communities,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “I’m grateful for Senators Van Hollen and Cardin and Congressman Mfume’s partnership in this work, and am thankful that Baltimore has such strong advocates for our city on Capitol Hill. Together, we’re using every tool we have to ensure Baltimore is able to confront our challenges and achieve our highest potential.”
Specifically, staffing increases that DOJ will provide to Maryland including the Baltimore metropolitan region are as follows:
- Five new AUSAs and two support staff
- Four new FBI agents and two Intelligence Analysts
- Four new DEA agents, two new Diversion Investigators, and one new Intelligence Officer
- Two new ATF agents
The lawmakers fought for increased funding for DOJ as well as for community policing and public safety programs in the Fiscal Year 2023 government funding legislation, and will continue that fight for the additional resources still needed as part of the Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations process. Senator Van Hollen is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, as well as the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies – the subcommittee which oversees funding for the DOJ.