Eight local law enforcement agencies have come together to form the Suburban Violent Crimes Task Force.
The group was formed so that different agencies can share intelligence to stop criminals. The stolen car epidemic that law enforcement chiefs say has led to more violent crimes, was the reason this group formed.
Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, West Allis, Franklin, Glendale, Greenfield, Brookfield and the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office are all part of the task force. Every night up to 30 law enforcement officers from the agencies meet at a briefing. The agencies compile a list of the most wanted suspects in their respective areas.
“We divvy up who’s going to do what, who’s going to go to each neighborhood, and we’d try to make those arrests,” said Wauwatosa Lieutenant James Mastrocola.
So far the task force has arrested 50 people, the majority juvenile. Twenty-seven are under the age of 18 along with 23 adults, along with 12 guns recovered guns. The majority of the guns again came from juvenile suspects.
“These aren’t young people who are out on joyrides in stolen cars, but committing crimes, shooting and killing people,” said Greenfield Police Chief Brad Wendlandt, whose officers were shot at during the first few nights of the task force.
The task force was started in October and officials hope other suburban departments will join the team in the months and years to come.