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woman speaking at podiumAug. 3, 2021 -- Federal, county and local law enforcement partners have launched a new initiative focused on enhanced strategies to prevent gun violence and gang activity in Westchester County, Westchester District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah announced today. The collaboration includes the FBI’s Westchester Safe Streets Task Force, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the Westchester Department of Public Safety, the Yonkers Police Department, the Mount Vernon Police Department, the New Rochelle Police Department and the Westchester District Attorney’s Office.

“This partnership at the federal, county and local level is exactly how law enforcement works best – collaboratively and proactively,” DA Rocah said. “Violent crime has dramatically spiked in other parts of the state, including New York City, and all of the partners in this initiative recognize the need to be proactive and prevent violent crime from escalating further here in Westchester. Every homicide due to gun or gang violence is one too many and every shooting makes entire communities feel vulnerable. That is why law enforcement in Westchester County is committed to conducting cooperative law enforcement operations to stop violent crime before it starts.”

The goal of this initiative is to prevent violent crime utilizing a precision policing and precision prosecution model targeting repeat violent offenders through short-term and long-term violent crime investigations. Together we will focus on using all available investigable tools and techniques to build cases against violent offenders and their enablers. We will prosecute those cases at the State and Federal level, wherever it makes sense from a public safety standpoint of ending the violence.

The DA’s office appreciates the commitment of County Executive George Latimer and Mayors Mike Spano of Yonkers, Noam Bramson of New Rochelle and Shawyn Patterson-Howard of Mount Vernon, for authorizing the full cooperation of their departments in working as an integral part of this initiative. As well as the leadership and partnership of the NY FBI and the Department of Justice Southern District of New York.

This model allows for each law enforcement entity to share resources and information about cross-border criminal activity more effectively and efficiently, and provide more coordinated enforcement efforts and collaborative decisions about state, federal or joint prosecutions.

This enhanced partnership will further permit law enforcement to not only handle individual criminal cases in their jurisdictions, but also focus their partners on the inter-connectivity of criminal actors in their various jurisdictions. By staying ahead of the curve, targeting repeat violent offenders, and working collaboratively, we will add to the efforts of our hard-working police departments to keep our communities safe.

Jacqueline Maguire, acting Assistant Director-in-Charge of the FBI New York Field Office said, “By participating in this initiative, the FBI is reaffirming our commitment to our law enforcement partners and to our community. Far too many people are being victimized by violence, and we will continue to work through and expand the partnerships built on our Westchester County Safe Streets Task Force to combat this perpetual cycle. Together, we will use all tools and resources available on both the federal and state levels to pursue those responsible for the violence – and we will make sure they face justice.”

Westchester Department of Public Safety Commissioner Thomas A. Gleason said, “The Real Time Crime Center, where we gathered this morning, is another example of this initiative model in action. Every municipal police department in our County is represented in the intelligence center. We share information, even as crimes are in progress or have just occurred, and the results have been tremendous since RTC was created four years ago. County police detectives also serve in joint collaboration with the FBI, DEA and U.S. Marshals Service. We welcome this newest initiative because we know from experience that cooperation and collaboration is a critical way we keep Westchester safe. We are grateful to County Executive Latimer for his support of our Department and to District Attorney Rocah for her partnership in this newest initiative.”

Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said: “Combatting violence requires strong partnerships among all levels of law enforcement. Our Office is committed to continuing to work with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to protect our communities and seek justice for the victims of violence.”

Yonkers Police Commissioner John J. Mueller stated, “The Yonkers Police Department is grateful to all of the agencies that are contained within this partnership. We are always better together, working collaboratively with our federal, state, county and local partners to identify, arrest, prosecute and incarcerate our most violent offenders. With many jurisdictions in NYS facing an unacceptable increase in violent crime, now more than ever, we need to work together. The very nature of the success of a collaboration brings the unique skillsets of each partner with the ultimate goal of keeping the overwhelming number of hardworking, law abiding community members safe from those who would commit violent crime.”

Mount Vernon Police Commissioner Glenn Scott said, “The criminal element is not confined to borders. Law enforcement must share intelligence, staff and resources in order to combat this surge of gun violence that is sweeping our nation. The MVPD looks to further expand our partnerships by joining this initiative.”

New Rochelle Police Commissioner Robert Gazzola said, “The City of New Rochelle is not immune to the issues of gang and gun violence, and their harmful impact upon our community. The New Rochelle Police Department looks forward to collaborating with our local, county and federal law enforcement partners to help address this issue and improve the quality of life for our citizens.”

You may also go to Facebook to watch the full announcement.

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Jess Vecchiarelli, Director of Communications
(914) 995-3586
jvecchiarelli@westchesterda.net

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