Lawmakers and police say the pandemic is producing a crime wave nationwide. Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the murder rate is the highest we’ve seen in some parts of the country in 100 years. A special law enforcement team goes after the most dangerous criminals. They invited only Boston 25 News Washington reporter Blair Miller to ride along with them to see the dangers they face and the impact they’re having.
The mission usually begins as the sun comes up when the wanted criminals are least expecting law enforcement. The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task goes after criminals considered the worst of the worst. Commander Brian Alfano helps lead the team in North Carolina. “We’re looking for people who don’t want to be found,” he said.
The suspects are usually wanted from crimes like murder, kidnapping, robbery, assault, and more. Across the country, there are eight regional specialized units. In 2020, they arrested more than 77 thousand people nationwide. We rode with Commander Alfano and his team as they were looking for a fugitive wanted for robbery with a dangerous weapon. Police believe she’s been on the run since September. They waited outside an apartment in Charlotte for hours as they worked with other law enforcement officers to confirm that she was there. They finally moved in and were able to arrest her with no problems.
We were also there as U.S. Marshals went looking for a man wanted for assault with a deadly weapon. Investigators say he also made threats to law enforcement, saying he would kill the next cop that came into contact with him. Police moved in and arrested him.
The workload for these task forces matches what the statistics show. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020 recorded the largest single-year increase in murders in a century. The rates of deadly crimes have also continued to rise. It’s something these U.S. Marshals know all too well, right now, averaging 300 arrests nationwide each day. “Crime is on the rise. It doesn’t mean that we can let up, it means we have to work harder,” said Commander Alfano. “These are our communities, as well. We live here so we take it personal if somebody is out there wreaking havoc and committing crimes, we want them off the streets because we’re raising our families here as well,” he said.
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