Task force to crack down on gang violence - WNEM TV 5

Task force to crack down on gang violence

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

It's been ranked one of the most violent cities in the nation, but now a task force is returning to help make Saginaw a safer place.

The multi-agency force will focus on cracking down on gang activity.

For the last two years Saginaw was ranked third in the nation for most violent cities per capita. Now this task force is hoping to change that.

Parker Bates still has bullet holes in the back of his house - reminders of the gang violence plaguing his Saginaw neighborhood.

"They come through here shooting at night," Bates said.

He is hoping a newly formed task force involving the FBI and state police will get rid of the gangs and bring peace to his neighborhood.  

"If they come back and patrol the area it would be a lot better," Bates said.

Michigan State Police Lt. Dave Simon said the people they are targeting are some of the city's most violent offenders.

"Those groups and those individuals are responsible for most of the crime we see here in Saginaw," Simon said.

This is the not the first time a gang task force has been formed in Saginaw to try to get rid of gangs. One was in place two years ago. This one will include three state troopers, a detective and an FBI agent.

"Partnering with the FBI will allow us take some of those violent offenders and put cases together, charging them federally, putting them in prison for a lot longer," Simon said.

Bates said he remembers the last time a gang task force was working to clean up the streets. He hopes they have similar results this time around. 

"They cut out a lot of it, cause most of the gangs was here and locked most of them up," Bates said.

The three state troopers and the detective working on the task force are in addition to the troopers already helping local law enforcement patrol the city.

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