BALTIMORE — Local and state leaders teamed up on Wednesday to announce a new task force aimed at reducing violent crime in Baltimore.
At a press conference at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Downtown Baltimore, United States Attorney Robert K. Hur, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby and Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison announced the establishment of the Baltimore Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Strike Force as a new initiative to combat crime.
Officials say the idea behind the new task force is to disrupt and dismantle the most violent gangs and drug trafficking organizations, and their financial infrastructure in the Baltimore metropolitan area. They say the Strike Force is a collaborative effort with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in the Baltimore area to combine their resources to end violent crime.
"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," said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. "The Strike Force model has worked elsewhere and it will work here: By creating blended teams of investigators from more than a dozen local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and tasking them with building investigations of the city's most violent gangs, we will reduce violent crime together."
Officials believe the strike force will work because the team has already cracked down on cases such as the Monument Street Drug Trafficking Organization and Spencer DTO. During their investigation of the Monument Street Drug Organization, the task force was able to charge and arrest 25 people who conspired to sell drugs in Baltimore City. This also led to the seizures of nine firearms, several grams of drugs, and cash associated with the conspiracy.
U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur said Baltimore County Executive Olszewski and the Baltimore County Council has also agreed to federally fund this new effort they hope will work to protect the Baltimore area.
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Baltimore city has recently witnessed police involved crimes and multiple homicides. Baltimore is currently at 232 murders.
Just last week, the department responded to two quadruple shootings. The first resulted in the death of a 16-year-old boy and the other happened a day later, when a 51-year-old woman died.