SAGINAW (WJRT) -
(06/16/14) - A policing effort that once made a big impact on crime in Saginaw - is back.
The 'Mid-Michigan Safe Streets Task Force' has been at work for just more than a month now.
The new task force is going after gangs, specifically trying to break up gangs - and ultimately make the community safer.
This time around, the 'Mid-Michigan Safe Streets Task Force' is made up of four Michigan State Police troopers from the Tri-City Post - and one FBI special agent. They started working together just over a month ago.
Right now, their focus is on finding out who the key players are - and getting a game plan together.
First Lieutenant Dave Simon tells us this is the third time such a task force has been put together to combat crime in Saginaw. The first was created in the '90s and second in the 2000's.
The last task force disbanded about two years ago, as there wasn't enough funding or manpower on the Saginaw Police Department to keep it going.
Between those two previous efforts, a lot of key gang members were put behind bars on federal charges.
"We take out some of their key players, we arrest them, we prosecute them, and while they're sitting in jail or they go to prison, then more people are willing to step forward, assist us investigate crime, and to testify against these criminals. And then it'll disrupt them at the higher levels so they're not allowed to get those footings in and continue their organizations," said Lt. Dave Simon, of the Michigan State Police.
Simon tells ABC12 the FBI made the funding possible for this task force, while Saginaw's involvement with 'Secure Cities Partnership', created by Gov. Rick Snyder, made the manpower available.