2 Ohio cities among 12 to receive aid to lower crime

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during the Justice Department's National Summit on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, in Bethesda, Md., on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — The Justice Department says it’s aiding 12 U.S. cities to decrease violent crime.

The department said Tuesday it will help local authorities study crime patterns and develop plans to reduce violence. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says officials will find “data-driven, evidence-based strategies” that can be measured over time.

The cities are: Birmingham, Alabama; Indianapolis, Indiana; Memphis, Tennessee; Toledo, Ohio; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Buffalo, New York; Cincinnati, Ohio; Houston, Texas; Jackson, Tennessee; Kansas City, Missouri; Lansing, Michigan; and Springfield, Illinois.

The department says it chose cities that have higher-than-average rates of violence and showed receptiveness to receiving assistance.

The announcement came at a gathering of federal and state law enforcement officials in Bethesda, Maryland. Sessions says helping cities combat violence is a top priority for the Justice Department.

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