(FiveNation.com)- More agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation are being sent to Louisville in Kentucky to try to help crack down on violent crime and gangs in the region.
This is all part of the Safe Streets Task Force, which is a joint initiative that’s being conducted with the Louisville Metro Police Department. Its aim is to target criminals who are violent.
There has been a massive increase in violent crime in Louisville, which is why the FBI is getting involved. That’s according to Brian Jones, who serves as the FBI assistant special agent in charge in Louisville.
In the first four months of 2021, violent crime increased roughly 34% in Louisville compared to those same four months in 2020. The city is also on pace to break the record for homicides in a year for the second year in a row.
Jones wouldn’t comment on the number of FBI agents that are being sent to Louisville for support. He did, however, say they will be a “significant complement” to other efforts the department is taking to stop gang members and other violent groups.
The FBI agent also said his department would only have limited areas of investigation in this regard. He said:
“Our part is to look at federal violations. [But] we’re trying our best to do our part to see if we can have an impact on violent crime.”
Some of the crimes the FBI will focus on include federal gun charges and allegations of gun trafficking.
While the FBI won’t take the lead in cracking down on local crimes, they will help support the Louisville Metro Police Department to see if local robberies and carjackings, for example, have a tie-in to a federal crime. Jones also confirmed the FBI agents will assist with homicide investigations as well.
One example Jones provided is that homicides that are drug related could have a federal angle if a felon uses a firearm in the incident.
Through August 15, Louisville has reported 125 homicides that have occurred this year alone. Of those, almost 65% of the cases aren’t yet solved.
Officials with the Louisville Metro Police Department said they are short roughly 240 police officers, which is forcing homicide detectives to carry a caseload that’s twice what it normally should be.
Jones said the FBI has a simple goal in this project:
“We just want to … reduce the violence in the city.”
Just last week, the task force recovered ammunition, 17 weapons and 1,200 grams of controlled dangerous substances. That discovery eventually led to a federal indictment against four suspects on various charges.
Some city activists are cautiously optimistic that the FBI presence and focus will actually bring positive results to Louisville. Christopher 2X, for example, a prominent activist in the city, said:
“It can’t hurt, trying to bring in more resources. There is no total guarantee because of the magnitude [of violent crimes in the city]. People are calling for whatever tools are available and can be brought to the table to stop the bleeding. Anything is better than nothing.”