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Kalamazoo Public Safety working to bring down violent crime
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The success Kalamazoo Public Safety has had reducing violent crime, it says, comes in part from working with federal law enforcement agencies.
More than twenty drug arrests over the last two years have led to federal charges, taking criminals out of Kalamazoo.
"We have an outstanding relationship with out other law enforcement partners and that level of cooperation is what makes us successful in solving crimes," says KDPS Assistant Chief Brian Uridge.
Wednesday the U.S. Attorney for West Michigan Pat Miles was in Kalamazoo with plans to expand and grow that type of federal cooperation.
"Our office is committed to work on a task force basis on a pro active basis with local and state and federal law enforcement working together to reduce violent crime and gang activity," says Miles.
Miles says he wants to promote community outreach and encourage companies to hire former convicts and he will assign prosecutors to be direct liasons with places like Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, Battle Creek and other West Michigan cities.
"We're fortunate in Kalamazoo County we got the message a long time ago and it's good to see the U.S. Attorney here to let us know they're part of our partnerships," says Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller.
"What it does is solidify and reinforce relationships that have been established between federal law enforcement and local law enforcement," says Battle Creek Police Chief Jackie Hampton.
But just as the U.S. Attorney is making this announcement federal budget cuts are coming. But he says the partnerships will continue.
"Our job will continue regardless of cuts in our funding, crime doesn't take a break because we may be losing people," says Miles.
Miles says it is actually more cost effective to partner with local agencies so this new strategy should save money.
But he says with cuts coming his office might have to be more selective about cases it prosecutes.