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US attorney calls for public help in solving violent crime

Updated: Thursday, February 21 2013, 08:30 PM EST
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Standing with representatives of local, state, and federal agencies, the United States Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Patrick Miles called on the public's help in solving violent crime.

"Even people who are part of some of these groups or gangs, they can become a confidential informant and be protected," said Miles. "What's in it for them is a safer neighborhood, a better place to live. A place where their children and friends and family members aren't being shot as innocent bystanders."

Over the past three weeks, crime has calmed down in Grand Rapids, giving investigators space to work on unsolved homicides committed in December and January.

"We've done numerous investigative subpoenas on all those homicides, we've made inroads on all those homicides including arrests on some of them," Captain Jeff Hertel, Grand Rapids Police Department.

Speaking of arrests, recently authorities came down hard on Holland's Latin Kings gang. But there's more work to be done.

"What I'd really like to focus on is the prevention side, the intervention side, preventing some of these individuals from joining gangs in the first place because once we start getting involved in my opinion it's too late," said Chief Mark Messer of the Holland Police Department.

Police hope the threat of federal charges and commitment from Miles to pursue them deters criminals.

"The federal sentences carry very stiff penalties," he said.
US attorney calls for public help in solving violent crime
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