You’ve probably seen the news out of Seattle recently about their gang problem on the rise. Earlier this week, the ATF announced a crack down of gangsters by members of the year-old Violent Gangs Task Force.
The task force is a partnership involving the ATF, FBI, Seattle police and King County Sheriff’s Office. There’s been a lot of talk in the Seattle media about the ATF setting up a permanent gang field office in Seattle to deal with the Seattle problem.
That prompted a senior editor to ask me, “What about us?” We, too, have a gang problem. Why didn’t the ATF include Tacoma in this new task force?
The answer: Tacoma already has a violent crimes task force, which is comprised of the FBI, two ATF agents, Tacoma police, Pierce County sheriff’s, Lakewood police and DOC agents. In it’s most recent tenure, the Tacoma-Pierce County VIolent Crimes Task Force has been working together for the past three years. Tacoma has had several task forces since the 1980s when the gang and drug problem exploded on the Hilltop.
They focus on the region’s most violent felons.
So, no worries. Tacoma has not been forgotten. Just the opposite. Federal law enforcement has been a player in local gang enforcement for some time.