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Anti-crime plan will coordinate police

Published Oct. 6, 2005

Promising to reduce turf battles between local and federal police, Attorney General Janet Reno unveiled an anti-crime plan Tuesday to target violent offenders.

The plan, announced at the White House with Vice President Al Gore, would couple federal and local police efforts to battle gang and youth violence with the same investigative techniques used in espionage and organized crime cases.

The concept costs no extra money and could be implemented without legislation.

"I want to form a true partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies," Reno said.

Under the program, Reno will form special response teams to help state and local governments fight crime. Each U.S. attorney will be asked to appoint violent-crime coordinators to organize local and federal efforts, and working groups will identify the worst crime problems in communities.

Reno said federal agencies will provide more technical assistance, such as wiretaps, to local and state police.

The attorney general acknowledged the plan seeks to do what law enforcement officials already should be doing: pooling resources and cooperating to capture crooks. And she said crime is still the main responsibility of local police.

But the initiative could help alleviate what Reno said she found when she took office a year ago. "Federal efforts were fragmented . . . there were indeed turf battles, and . . . agencies did not exchange information."