The effective coordination of federal, state and local law enforcement resources is essential to reducing crime. To that end, the Law Enforcement Coordination (LEC) program identifies key areas of concern where federal programs and resources can have the greatest impact. This effort has resulted in joint training for federal, state, and local investigators and prosecutors; focused action on specific issues such as anti-terrorism, narcotics, violence, and human trafficking; and provides greater flexibility and resources to enforce state and federal laws and help protect communities. The following is a summary of some of those projects and initiatives.
For more information or for questions, please contact Steve Hess, Law Enforcement Coordinator, at 410-209-4930 or e-mail at Steven.Hess@usdoj.gov.
Since the tragic events of September 11, 2001 and in accordance with the revised mission of the U.S. Department of Justice, the LEC has become an integral part of the District of Maryland’s anti-terrorism efforts. (See the Anti-Terrorism tab). The Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council (ATAC) serves as an umbrella organization to coordinate activities, develop policy and implement a strategic plan to combat terrorism in Maryland, as well as to coordinate with ATACs around the nation. Specifically, the group serves to:
- facilitate information sharing between federal, state and local authorities (Intelligence/MCAC);
- disrupt terrorism activity within the State through aggressive investigation and prosecution (Joint Terrorism Task Force); and
- assure that the organizational structure and plans exist to effectively respond to any future terrorist incidents in the state (Emergency Response Plan); and
- provide quality training across disciplines and levels of government.
In addition to assisting in the larger mission of the ATAC, the Law Enforcement Coordinator in conjunction with USAO Intelligence Officer helps to coordinate the intelligence function of the District of Maryland’s anti-terrorism efforts. The intelligence component is designed to enhance and serve the investigative component and to provide advance notice to assist with emergency preparedness plans. Its purpose is to collect, analyze, evaluate and disseminate intelligence information regarding terrorism. This effort has been a primary focus since September 11 with the creation of the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center (MCAC). The MCAC is a national model of federal, state and local cooperation and collaboration across multiple disciplines involved with homeland security. Also vital in these efforts is the development and implementation of useful and effective training opportunities across all disciplines of the Homeland Security community. The LEC program provides that important service by identifying needs and locating appropriate cost-effective solutions.
The core issue in most of the current crime problems in Maryland is the use and sale of illegal narcotics. The U.S. Attorney’s Office continues to focus on the most violent drug organizations in Maryland, with special attention to Baltimore City and Prince George’s County, by dismantling violent drug organizations that are national and international in scope. Working closely with federal, state and local police and prosecutors, federal prosecution of these violent drug organizations results in longer sentences without parole
In addition to the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) that has long been successful in Maryland, the U.S. Attorney’s Office participates in the Washington-Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Task Force (HIDTA), which combines all levels of law enforcement from Baltimore to Washington to Northern Virginia, to combat the importation and distribution of illegal drugs in that corridor. Much of the organized illegal drug activity in Maryland involves criminal gangs. And gangs are a primary focus of federal narcotics enforcement strategy. The USAO, in conjunction with our local partners, has vigorously pursued violent gangs such as the Bloods, Crips, BGF, MS-13, 18th Street and others. But we also recognize the need for prevention and education, and work with state and local officials to provide gang awareness training in our schools.
Through Project Safe Neighborhoods and the LEC umbrella, federal law enforcement remains committed to using its resources to assist local and state agencies in combating violent crime through the aggressive prosecution of individuals who use a firearm when committing a violent crime- such as bank robberies, kidnapping, commercial armed robberies and carjackings. (See the Maryland EXILE tab)
The U.S. Attorney’s Office regularly confers with local prosecutors to ascertain whether it is more advantageous to prosecute certain individuals and organizations under federal laws and penalties. Federal and state prosecutors review selected cases where jurisdiction is shared to determine the greatest benefit for the community.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office believes strongly in the importance of community involvement in preventing and fighting crime. As part of its mission, the LEC program provides information and resources to local community groups and private organizations involved in crime prevention and awareness and community education.
We can assist local groups in identifying federal and state grant resources; provide guest speakers on a wide variety of public safety issues; and help connect people and groups to public and private services to assist and protect their communities.
For more information or for questions, please contact Steve Hess, Law Enforcement Coordinator, at 410-209-4930 or e-mail at Steven.Hess@usdoj.gov