Local and federal law enforcement join effort to fight local crime
Caroline MacGregor February 21, 2013 | WGVU
“In communities, neighbors who are tired of violence, tired of having their children hear gunshots in the evening need to know we are going to do as much as we can about it. We are here to help.”
States Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, Patrick Miles, was joined
by members of the FBI, DEA, GRPD, MSP, Muskegon
Heights PD and other agency representatives.
Miles, who has been in office 8
months, says his priority is to use a pro-active task force approach to educate
the public and work collaboratively with local and federal task forces to reduce
crime. He says the federal government is a full partner in the effort to
prosecute criminals and members of gangs.
Jeffrey Hertel with the Grand Rapids Police Department understands the
hesitancy of people to step forward with information but crimes are solved must
faster with the community’s help.
“I think there's many avenues to help us, we need the help of the public - we can't do it by ourselves. We see a big difference in our cases where we get cooperation; it may not be the whole thing but what part of an incident that the person saw. In those cases we get progress and get suspects named and charged quickly when we get cooperation.”
A spate of
homicides in December and January plagued several neighborhoods. Captain Hertel
says they’ve made a lot of progress to solve cases and crime has slowed in
those areas due to increased patrols, numerous investigative subpoenas
with the Kent County Prosecutor’s office and the cold weather has also played a part.
Yusanchek with the Drug Enforcement Administration says they have 10 agents but
work very closely with other police agencies to cover all of Western Michigan.
“It's very important for us to work closely with state and local agencies, a lot of times they'll have pieces of the puzzle and we'll have ours and together we are able to put together a better prosecutable federal weight case.”
Holland meanwhile continue to pursue indictments against of the Holland Latin
Kings. Indictments have been issued against 31 suspected members and the search
for two other members of the gang. Chief Matt Messner with Holland’s Dept of
Public Safety says one of those gang members is believed to be out of state.
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