Maryland’s U.S. Attorney Robert Hur announced Wednesday that the federally funded Baltimore Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force will be getting a new headquarters.
From now on Police officers, agents, and prosecutors “will work together in an open workspace.” That is expected to “lead to collaborative, centralized intelligence sharing in real time.”
Members from the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives work directly with Maryland state troopers and officers from various police departments. To make things more convenient on the courtroom side, federal and state prosecutors are also in the group.
For years, Baltimore’s gang problem has been totally out of control. The homicide rate spiked since 2015 with over 300 killings last year. Not only that, there has been “an escalating arms race among Baltimore’s gangs.”
According to a local news outlet, the drug dealers make more than the legitimate merchants. “Street gangs dramatically drive up the rates of violent crime by introducing illegal firearms and narcotics with a street value greatly exceeding the size of the surrounding neighborhood’s legal economy, according to authorities.”
20 failed murders (shootings) since last Saturday 8/31
555 failed murders this year
111 more than last year
7 murders since last Saturday 8/31
232 murders so far this year
33 more than last year#CityinCrisis
— Baltimore City FOP (@FOP3) September 4, 2019
Baltimore OCDETF Strike Force works hard to “disrupt and dismantle the most violent gangs and drug trafficking organizations.” especially going after the cash. They have been on the job for a year now but the federal assist will let them ramp up their efforts.
As Attorney Hur explains, “The Baltimore OCDETF Strike Force is a critical part of our strategy to make Baltimore safer by identifying and focusing on those groups responsible for the most violent crime in our city.”
Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan is thrilled. “This is exactly the kind of coordinated, all-hands-on-deck approach that we need in order to take back our communities, get the shooters off the streets, and save lives.”
Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison agrees. He expects the group to “enhance our ability to rid Baltimore of its most violent offenders.”
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