On Wednesday, it was announced that the Vicksburg Police Department’s NET team would be partnering with Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Violent Crimes Task Force in an effort to combat crimes locally.
There are currently two of these task forces operating in the state of Mississippi. One is the Jackson Safe Streets Task Force while the other is the Southeast Mississippi Safe Streets Task force. Additionally there are two operational task forces in Northern Louisiana. These task forces are part of a group of 160 such groups currently operating across the United States.
The FBI says these task forces pursue violent gangs through sustained, proactive, coordinated investigations to obtain prosecutions on violations such as racketeering, drug conspiracy, and firearms violations. The Safe Streets Task Force concept expands cooperation and communication among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, increasing productivity and avoiding duplication of investigative efforts.
One of the key facets of a Safe Streets Task Force is the Enterprise Theory of Investigation (ETI). Combining short term, street level enforcement activity with sophisticated techniques such as consensual monitoring, financial analysis, and Title III wire intercepts, investigations using ETI aim to root out and prosecute the entire gang.
The ETI has proven how effective federal racketeering, drug conspiracy, and firearms investigations can be, whether it is providing the incentive for witnesses to cooperate or imprisoning the gang’s leaders for decades.
In making the announcement, Vicksburg Police Chief Milton Moore said The FBI Violent Crimes Task Force has partnered with members of the Vicksburg Police Department NET team to help combat violent crime in the City of Vicksburg. This partnership will help identify and prosecute those responsible for committing violent crime and illegal street gang activity as well as afford the Vicksburg Police Department valuable resources to aid in the prosecution and conviction of dangerous offenders.
This is another asset that the Vicksburg Police Department will utilize to help keep the citizens in this community safe. By having access to the vast resources of the FBI and access to prosecute cases at the Federal level, it opens up many additional avenues to combat criminal activities.
Efforts of this nature have seen success across the country. For example, a similar task force organized in Lexington, Kentucky saw a dramatic reduction in crime. After just one year, homicides and robberies were down by 21%, aggravated assaults were down by 11%, shootings were down by 23% and shots fired calls were down by 9%, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.