POLICE Magazine

SEP 2017

Magazine for police and law enforcement

Issue link: https://policemag.epubxp.com/i/869708

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Page 52 of 60

50 POLICE SEPTEMBER 2017 POET JOHN DONNE WROTE, "No man is an island." His words provide wise guidance on how law enforcement can effec- tively combat violent crime. In the days of TV sheriff Andy Taylor on the old "Andy Griffith Show," the assaultive behavior of a neighborhood offender suffering from anger-management issues was the extent of violent crime. Today, the menu of violent crime has expanded and combatting it requires an integrated law en- forcement approach. Law enforcement now has to contend with organized violent gangs, terrorist cells, and illicit trafficking organiza- tions with vast geographic reach. ese violent criminals don't limit their destructive acts to one block or one neighborhood. e days of the Westside Story gangs rumbling over turf are long gone. Now, gangs are violent criminal en- terprises who commit interstate and international violence. On the violent crime chess board, law enforcement task forces defeat bad guys. When law enforcement combines its resources in a multi-agency task force that tar- gets violent crime, the results are impressive. Just reading some news headlines from August proves this point. In Texas, a Department of Justice headline read, "32 Individuals Charged In Violent Crimes Cases." Another headline from New York announced, "31 Members and Asso- ciates of Two Rival Poughkeepsie Street Gangs Charged With Murder, Attempted Murder, Racketeering, Narcotics and Firearms Offenses." In Ohio and Indiana, a Fox News head- line revealed, "13 Accused MS-13 Gang Members Arrested." What these headlines have in common is that local, state, and federal law enforcement assets combined to arrest vio- lent criminals. Looking at the Texas takedown, the multiple arrests were the result of the following departments work- ing together: Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Jasper Coun- ty Sheriff's Office, Orange Police Department, Port Arthur Police Department, Beaumont Police Department, the DEA, the FBI, and the ATF. When law enforcement synchronizes its efforts in the pursuit of violent criminals, the bad guys lose and communities win. In the Poughkeepsie arrests, we also saw different law enforcement assets combine their resources in a task force to target two violent gangs. New York State Superintendent George P. Beach made the following powerful statement: "is investigation is another example of our law enforce- ment partners working collaboratively to put an end to the dangerous gang activity that brings violence and crime into our neighborhoods. I commend all of our law enforcement partners for their hard work in dismantling these gangs and for their commitment to making our neighborhoods safer. We have no tolerance for those who bring drugs and the threat of violence to our communities." Such law enforcement efforts make the American taxpay- ers smile and keep our communities and our citizens safe. Whether it's the FBI Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force, the Marshals Service Regional Fugitive Task Force, or any other ICE, ATF, or DEA violent crimes task force, the end results are the same, safer communities. e collective efforts of all contrib- uting law enforcement departments make these task forces extremely effective. Looking at the three head- lines mentioned, we see the following category of charges brought against multiple alleged violent criminals: murder, racketeering, money laundering, extortion, armed robbery impacting interstate commerce (Hobbs Act), narcotics traf- ficking, and felons in possession of illegal firearms. All these charges come with a significant sentencing impact. Some critics may argue that the task force approach just fills jails, and we can't arrest our way out of the problem. I strongly disagree. Looking at the rampant violent crime that has plagued neighborhoods in Chicago and Baltimore, we see that the respective mayors have not effectively dealt with the problem. Setting aside the politics, it is clear that a sustained full-court law enforcement press targeting violent criminals makes communities safer. Today's organized violent criminals are not isolated lo- cal problems. ey engage in interstate and/or international trafficking, terrorism, and money laundering, and use so- cial media and technology to further their objectives. No single agency can effectively eradicate violent crime. No law enforcement department or agency is an island. By working together we advance our priority objective: making America safer. THE POWER OF TEAMWORK The Federal Voice J WHEN LAW ENFORCEMENT SYNCHRONIZES ITS EFFORTS IN THE PURSUIT OF VIOLENT CRIMINALS, THE BAD GUYS LOSE AND COMMUNITIES WIN. JON ADLER, PRESIDENT, FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ASSOCIATION FOUNDATION JON ADLER By combining a variety of law enforcement agencies with different capabilities, task forces can effectively target organized criminals.

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