ST. LOUIS – The City of St. Louis has recently been added to a violent crime initiative, joining two other newly added cities struggling with persistent crime.

Under the project, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will get more prosecutors to handle violent crime.

Sayler Fleming says the Department of Justice initiative will make a big difference.

“I think now is the time to, as our Attorney General for the United States said, double-down, even triple-down. We have seen violent crime trending downward across the nation, but it’s still high. It’s not in a place where we want it,” she said.

The new program will allow Fleming to make more use of tools in the federal arsenal.

“Those attorneys that have joined us have experience in prosecuting large-scale, complex, violent crime and drug trafficking cases using a multitude of federal statutes,” she said. “We do have groups of individuals who are committing violent crime and drug trafficking in a loosely organized manner.”

The new initiative does have an impact. In Houston, over 50 gang members have been indicted on charges including murder, armed robbery, drug trafficking, and related crimes in over 10 separate investigations.

“I like that I’m seeing the business community come together, elected officials, law enforcement, and I feel like we’re really at a place we’re starting to address violent crime as a group,” Fleming said.