Metro Police, FBI Join Forces to Fight Gangs - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Metro Police, FBI Join Forces to Fight Gangs

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SAVANNAH, GA -

Savannah-Chatham Metro Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are joining forces in an effort to crackdown on gang violence and crime in the city.

The new task force was announced Friday afternoon.

It comes days after the one year anniversary of the Coastal Empire Fair shooting in which eight people were hurt.

Police have said that gangs were to blame.

Gangs have also been tied to a number of recent crimes around the city.

This afternoon Interim Police Chief Juliette Tolbert accepted an offer from the FBI to assign officers to a special task force.

Members of the team will get full access to FBI databases as well as federal resources.

They will also be deputized as federal agents and will have the authority to act on a national level.

Those officers will also receive specialized training and will be called on to target crimes under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO.

Those crimes include gang violence, organized robberies, firearms violations, stolen vehicles and human trafficking. 

The Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team (CNT) and Pooler Police Department also have committed to being a part of the task force.

Ten similar task forces already operate in Georgia.

"This relationship will provide additional resources and information to address one of the most significant issues we face in Savannah, organized neighborhood groups," said Interim Chief Tolbert.  "These loosely organized groups too often lead to criminal activity that holds law-abiding members of the neighborhood hostage. We've seen multiple examples of this activity from drug sales to fights, shootings and homicides. Task forces such as this serve as force multipliers, and we must use every resource available to address these issues."

The Safe Streets Task Force provides sophisticated investigative techniques normally associated with complex organized crime and racketeering investigations.

At least 195 Safe Streets Gang and Violent Crime Task Forces have been formed in cities and regions across the U.S.

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