INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 10, 2015) - Federal agents are working alongside IMPD officers in an unprecedented partnership. The extra resources are being used throughout the city, especially in six focus areas with high crime rates.
"The safe streets task force is out on the streets 24/7 responding to every major violent crime issue that's going on, like you said it is behind the scenes it's something that you would not see on the news all the time but they are out there risking their lives arresting guys," said Kevin P. Lyons, FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge.
FBI officials won't specify how many agents are working in conjunction with police but they say the number has more than doubled. Last week, top FBI agent told FOX59 the agency is adding at least six more agents to fight violent crime in Indianapolis.
Police Chief Rick Hite said the level of cooperation is unlike anything he's seen in his career.
"With their intelligence and their skills and their technology alone coupled with our street skills and our police officers and detectives who have known the offenders for years I think it makes a difference," said Chief Hite.
The FBI split up agents to focus on violent crime and gang activity. They're working with police to gather intelligence, conduct criminal investigations and make arrests.
The partnership proved to be effective last week when armed gunmen kidnapped two Indianapolis teens.
"The violent crime task force worked hand in hand with IMPD missing persons and when the subjects were identified in the Detroit, Michigan area our supervisor was able to contact the violent crime squad in Detroit and work those cases hand in hand," said Lyons.
In addition to extra resources, federal partners also open up the possibility of much tougher penalties for offenders. Chief Rick Hite is pushing for mandatory minimum sentencing but federal charges already offer stricter sentencing.