The head of the FBI says violent crime in America is an “epidemic”.
And Christopher Wray says one way to effectively deal with the problem is through the on-going, collaborative work of regional task forces targeting the most dangers and violent criminals.
“I think the most dangerous, violent criminals out there need to know if they’re engaged in this activity, they got all of us to deal with including federal prison,” said Wray.
The FBI director made the remarks today at a brief and tightly managed news conference at the Indianapolis Field Office.
Local media outlets including FOX59/CBS4 were permitted for only the first few minutes of a gathering of federal law enforcement officials and leaders of nine police departments from across Indiana.
Questions from reporters were limited to one each, provided they were submitted in writing last week.
We asked if the FBI could do more to stem violence in cities like Indianapolis.
Wray responded, “To me the key ingredient is teamwork.”
He went on to cite examples of successes of task forces around the state. These task forces like the Safe Streets Task Force operating in Central Indiana are managed by the FBI with officers from local police department assigned.
IMPD is on board with the Safe Streets Task Force, and Lt. Shane Foley said partnering with the FBI has serious benefits, “They have a number of resources, whether it be aviation resources, technology resources, that IMPD doesn’t have. They also have financial resources to provide some funding for longer term investigations.”
Safe Streets is credited with the arrest and eventual conviction of Richard Grundy and his associates.
There is still a great deal more to do in Indianapolis. FBI statistics suggest the violent crime rate is down, but the number of homicides in the last three years are the highest in the city’s history.