13 agencies start Richmond Crime Sweep

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – You've been warned! That's the new message from police and prosecutors to criminals. 13 agencies have started a new campaign in a joint effort to sweep crime from Richmond.

Richmond's "Crime Sweep" ads will soon be flashing on city bill boards, and hitting your TV's.

"We're just trying to create a scenario where crime is not something that pays," said Mayor Dwight Jones.

Local and state police are teaming up with the FBI, ATF, and state and federal prosecutors to go after the drug dealers, the robbery suspects, and anyone using guns to commit violent on Richmond's streets.

"The word is out to criminals and their associates that these 13 agencies are looking for them and we will find, and put them behind bars," said Neil MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District.

The agencies, are re-committing themselves to meeting every 45 days and sharing information; finding patterns in the crimes.

"When you can sit down with the head of the FBI, the DEA, the ATF, and the United States Marshall Service, every 45 days and discuss strategies for the city it's really priceless. It works really well," said Richmond Police Chief Bryan Norwood.

And when the feds come in it also means more ways for local law enforcement to target criminals.

"The fed can give us access to resources for surveillance. They can double the number of boots on the street. And that's makes a huge difference," said Commonwealth's Attorney Michael Herring.

Violent crime was cut nearly in half the last five years, but Herring says, there's still more to be done.

"Numbers are like reptiles, they never warm up to you. As happy as I am to have a 45 percent reduction, I am not counting on it going forward," he said.

These agencies working together also mean that many of the violent offenders who are caught will face federal charges, which often involve much longer prison sentences.

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