WPD & NHSO form task force with FBI to reduce gang violence

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington Police Department and New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office are partnering with the FBI to combat gang violence in the Wilmington area.

A news release states WPD and the Sheriff’s Office are currently reassigning gang unit officers to the FBI Safe Streets Task Force in an effort to curb violence. The partnership will focus on violent crimes, illegal gang activity, and incidents that have a direct nexus to gangs.

The FBI’s Safe Streets and Gang Unit administers 160 Violent Gang Safe Streets Task Forces nationwide. These task forces pursue violent gangs through sustained, proactive, coordinated investigations. The goal is to obtain federal convictions on violations such as racketeering, drug conspiracy, and firearms violations. The Safe Streets Task Force concept expands cooperation and communication among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, increasing productivity and avoiding duplication of investigative efforts.

“We are better together. I am very pleased with this partnership and look forward to seeing how it will work to make our community an even safer place to live,” said Wilmington Police Chief Donny Williams. “WPD is committed to working with both our federal and county partners as we enforce the law. This task force is another step forward in the unification of our law enforcement community and it will play an integral part in how our officers respond to gang violence.”

“Working together is key, gangs have no jurisdiction. By partnering with the Wilmington Police Department and the FBI it gives us the resources we need to combat gang activity in our community. Our goal is the same, to make our community a safer place to live, by increasing this task force we take another step forward in eliminating gang activity,” said New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon.

“We are working every day to stop gangs in North Carolina. The FBI Safe Streets Task Force puts federal agents and local detectives in the same room where they share real time intelligence and information, and act as one force to attack, dismantle, and rid our communities of violent gangs. And we will not stop until the violence ends,” said Robert R. Wells, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Charlotte Division.

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