US Attorney teams up with law enforcement agencies for ‘Safe Summer 2024’

NOW: US Attorney teams up with law enforcement agencies for ‘Safe Summer 2024’

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- Local law enforcement agencies are joining forces this summer to help slow the rise in gun violence that typically accompanies the rise in warmer weather during the summer months.

U.S. Attorney, Mark Totten, stopped in Benton Harbor Thursday Morning to announce the return of the program, Safe Summer 2024.

Safe Summer 2024 aims to protect communities, including Benton Harbor, from gun violence.

Under the program, which started in 2023, Totten is committing to federally prosecute all gun offenders that meet two criteria: committing a federal firearm offense, and any offenses involving a crime gun.

A crime gun is any gun that has been fired during a crime regardless of the person who committed it.

The program runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day, serving as an additional resource for Benton Harbor and Benton Township officials this summer, as they work to get illegal guns off the streets, and hold those who are driving crime in their neighborhoods accountable.

"Just work every hand where we can prevent crime. We know we can’t arrest our way out of it. Nor can we prosecute our way out of it. We have to find creative ways to get guns off the streets and keep residents safe,” said Mayor Marcus Muhammad.

Last year prosecutors charged 8 cases, and they hope to see the program grow in summers to come.

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