Federal forces assist Philly police in crackdown on violence
July 23, 2012By Tom MacDonald
The city of Philadelphia has received some federal help to reduce violent crime.
The Violent Crime Reduction Partnership means U.S. resources will help Philadelphia police hunt down and arrest the worst criminals in the city. Attorney General Eric Holder says 50 professionals will be in town for four months as part of an intense effort.
They will spearhead efforts to make the most of limited resources as they strengthen high priority enforcement efforts in neighborhoods plagued by crime and violence in a city that has seen the homicide rate rise by 10 percent over a year ago.
Sheree Mixell, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives special agent in charge, says federal forces have been working since the beginning of June, but had been preparing for the intense effort for months.
"Thus far, we have conducted 238 enforcement operations, we have initiated 54 federal investigations, we have successfully executed 46 arrest warrants and safely executed 19 search warrants," Mixell said. "Throughout the course of that activity, we've purchased or seized 57 crime guns."
Appearing yesterday with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Mayor Michael Nutter says the effort should send a message to violent criminals.
"This announcement marks a new level of coordination and cooperation of how we target our most violent criminals in Philadelphia and then bring them to justice," Nutter said Monday.
Holder says the Violent Crime Reduction Partnership has added 50 federal law enforcement officials to fight violent crime in the city.
"These federal leaders will help to build capacity to enhance training to coordinate community outreach efforts to bolster intelligence analysis capabilities and help plan and create sophisticated criminal investigations as well as prosecutions," Holder said.
Nutter said the effort represents unprecedented cooperation between city and federal law officials to deal with the violence. It is similar to an enforcement effort that ran for four months earlier this year in Oakland, California.