MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In response to the surge in gun violence, U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald has put together a new Twin Cities Violent Crimes Task Force.

The task force brings together federal and state resources to assist local law enforcement to get the most violent offenders off the street.

Since Memorial Day, violent crimes involving guns has spiked 60% since this time last year.

Shoot outs, carjacking and murder on both sides of the river has U.S. Attorney MacDonald pulling every available resource to stop the barrage of bullets.

“It’s a good use of resources that everybody is in the same room sharing the same information,” Tyrone Terrill said.

African American Leadership Council President Tyrone Terrill says he and other community leaders were briefed about the new task force last week.

He supports the effort that brings federal, state and local resources and community together.

“We need a team effort on this, the number of shootings in our community has to stop,” Terrill said.

MacDonald hopes to turn the tide by not flooding the community with law enforcement, but by using resources to focus on getting the most violent offenders off the streets.

“The police department law enforcement they know who all these players are they already have intelligence they know who is doing what and that’s good,” VJ Smith said.

VJ Smith, National Director of Mad Dads says by identifying people responsible for crimes involving guns and drug trafficking, it gives organizations like his an opportunity to help others who really want to change.

“I don’t have a gun, but I have resources for somebody who wants to go to school, somebody that wants a job somebody that wants treatment I can do that,” Smith said.

Community leaders say it will take the entire village to include law enforcement to bring an end to the gun violence.

“It’s going to take all of us working together we got to drop our egos, we got to drop all that other stuff and we got to get it done,” Smith said.

Federal agents will join Minneapolis and St. Paul police, along with sheriff’s departments from Hennepin, Ramsey and Dakota Counties.

Also, the BCA. They’ll evaluate how it’s all working after 30 days.

Reg Chapman

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