White House

Trump creates new task forces to fight crime, cartels

Feb. 9, 2017: President Donald Trump watches as Vice President Mike Pence administers the oath of office to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, accompanied by his wife Mary in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.

Feb. 9, 2017: President Donald Trump watches as Vice President Mike Pence administers the oath of office to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, accompanied by his wife Mary in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.  (AP)

President Trump on Thursday signed three executive orders setting up task forces as part of a broader effort to reduce crime – orders Trump said are “designed to restore safety in America.”

The orders came as Trump attended the swearing-in ceremony of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was confirmed by the Senate Wednesday night.

The orders establish three Department of Justice task forces to fight drug cartels, reduce violent crime and reduce attacks against police. The White House did not immediately release copies of the orders.

Trump said he was seeking “to break the back of the criminal cartels that have spread across our nation and are destroying the blood of our youth.” The cartel task force would partner the DOJ and the Department of Homeland Security.

Law and order was a central theme of Trump’s campaign, during which he also pushed his hardline immigration policies. But he has also prioritized tackling violent crime, recently promising on Twitter that if Chicago didn’t get its crime problem under control, he would “send in the Feds.”

“A new era of justice begins and it begins right now,” Trump said at the ceremony.