Law Enforcement Collaborate To Prevent Violent Crime

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

Partnership is key when it comes to preventing and reducing violent crime.

The U.S. Attorney is calling on law enforcement at all levels to work together.

"We have a violence problem in the nation," U.S. Attorney Pat Miles said. "We have an issue where people are not valuing human life."

Miles said gang violence and drugs are a problem in all urban areas, including Mid-Michigan.

"Our office is taking these matters even though they're traditionally local type matters, very seriously," Miles said. "At these times of funding cutbacks both at the local level and at the federal level, it's important that we pool our resources."

It's a task force approach encouraging partnerships throughout federal, state, and local law enforcement to help prevent America's most wanted from striking.

"We all bring different tools to the table: intelligence, man power, equipment," said Gil Salinas, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. "Communication is a good one that we keep very open, and that we collaborate and work together for one goal, and that goal is to go after the worst of the worst and put them behind bars, and make our communities safe."

Salinas, Miles, and Lansing's Chief of Police helped put seven men out of Northwest Lansing known as the "Vernon Squad" behind bars on federal drug and firearms charges in January. The chief said violent crime has been reduced locally.

"That trend needs to continue, and the way it continues is with hard work, with the partnerships, and with intelligence sharing, and with the community," Lansing Chief of Police Teresa Szymanski said. "With the community's help, with them engaging the law enforcement officials and them talking about it."

She said neighborhood watch programs work, and that's why the West Side Neighborhood Association is actively engaging the community. Lansing's Fourth Ward City Councilwoman said she's impressed with their efforts, and hopes other neighborhoods will follow.

"It really is a community approach, and we all have to help one another," Jessica Yorko said.

An Assistant U.S. Attorney will be assigned to the Mid-Michigna area to offer help, too.

"By partnering with the public, we can prevent crimes," Miles said.

Data analysis will play a key role in preventing crime as well. Miles said he's also seeking harsher sentences.

To prevent crime even further, he's encouraging businesses to hire ex-offenders, so they don't end up committing more crimes.

The Lansing Police Department said it's in contact with federal liaisons daily.


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