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Louisville, Ky. (WDRB photo)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville's spike in violent crime gained attention from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The DOJ named Louisville as one of 10 cities participating in a national public safety partnership aimed at reducing violence in areas with crime rates that far exceed the national average.

Louisville has seen more than 150 murders so far this year and is on track to break a homicide record for the second year in a row.

“Louisville is utilizing every tool available to fight gun violence in our community, as part of our whole of government, whole of city approach to public safety," Mayor Greg Fischer said in a statement Thursday. "That includes a number of partnerships with federal partners, like the Department of Justice. We are grateful to be included in the National Public Safety Partnership program, which will bring additional training, collaboration, data-driven strategies and technical assistance to LMPD. And we appreciate the DOJ recognition of Louisville’s commitment to working with all our partners – from community leaders and non-profits to law enforcement – to reduce gun violence."

The program includes coordinated training and technical assistance among other resources. Cities participating in the partnership include: Antioch, California; Aurora, Colorado; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Gary, Indiana; North Charleston/Charleston, South Carolina; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Phoenix, Arizona; Richmond, Virginia; and Shreveport, Louisiana.

"Violence -- gun violence in particular -- has taken a heavy toll on communities across the country, and its impact has been felt most deeply in neighborhoods where resources have always been scarce and justice has historically been elusive," Amy L. Solomon, Acting assistant attorney general of the Justice Department's Office of Justice Programs, said in a release.

After decades of falling crime rates, statistics show that in many cities across the county, violent crime increased in 2020. To address the increase in violence, specifically gun violence, Attorney General Merrick Garland in May 2021 announced the Department's new Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Violent Crime.

Cities must apply to participate, and to be considered for selection, a city must have levels of violence that far exceed the national average. The cities must also demonstrate a commitment to reducing crime and enhancing community engagement.

For more information about the Public Safety Partnership, click here

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