The Department of Justice announced the formation of a new Twin Cities Violent Crimes Task Force Wednesday in response to an “extraordinary spike in gun violence and violent crimes.”
Erica MacDonald, U.S. attorney for the District of Minnesota, said the task force will bring together federal and state resources to assist local law enforcement in investigating, arresting, and prosecuting individuals responsible for gun violence.
Minneapolis recorded its 31st homicide of 2020 this week after five shootings in a six-hour span left two dead and four injured.
Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Federation, told WCCO in a recent interview that law enforcement officers “have been completely overwhelmed.”
“We’ve had retirements en masse occurring. They were short to begin with. Let’s not forget, the chief had asked the mayor for 400 more officers over a period of five years. We’ve got none of those. We have declined,” Kroll said in a June 29 interview.
“If you want absolute lawlessness, let’s talk about what occurred here. We’ve got $500 million and climbing in damages. We’ve got 1,500 businesses that are destroyed, many that will not return. We’ve had 120 people shot in the last five weeks,” he added.
According to The Star Tribune, a total of 230 people have been shot in Minneapolis this year, a 60 percent increase from the same time frame last year.
MacDonald said the new task force will serve as a coordination hub for intelligence and law enforcement operations in the Twin Cities.
“This increase in violence, particularly the shootings, is unacceptable and it must end – that is why I am launching a new Twin Cities Violent Crime Task Force to help turn the tide,” she said in a statement.
The task force will be comprised of agents and officers from the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Marshals Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Minneapolis and St. Paul Police Departments, and the Hennepin, Ramsey and Dakota counties Sheriff’s Offices.
“The goal of this Task Force is not to flood our communities with law enforcement, but rather to leverage law enforcement’s collective resources to allow for focused and effective enforcement actions,” MacDonald added. “Bringing safety and security back to our cities requires collaboration, and we need law enforcement, city leaders and community members all working together toward the common goal of bringing an end to this violence.”
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