Part Two: DEA Washington Launches Violent Crime Solution
Built on Community and Trust
By: DEA Washington Division, Public Information Office
With incidents of violent crime, homicide rates, and crimes involving firearms at a disturbing high (in Washington D.C. over 200 murders were recorded last year, for the first time in decades), Jarod Forget, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the DEA Washington Division, and area Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) Michael Rothermund, step up and roll out an innovative, multi-prong strategy in the fight against this alarming trend in the District.
For more on the issue of violent crime across the Metropolitan Washington area, SAC Forget’s new strategy, and the enforcement strategies planned for the coming year to combat the issue in 2022, read part 1 of this article, here.
A Year in the Making
This past year, SAC Forget and ASAC Rothermund, observed an increase in violent criminal activity across the city. An increase leading to the DEA Washington Division working with Washington D.C. area law enforcement partners in ways they have never been able to before--to combat the violent crime trends in and around the District of Columbia.
Starting in Spring 2021, with Operation Engage and other targeted initiatives, SAC Forget and ASAC Rothermund were able to help support and launch violent crime prevention initiatives across the city. Partnering with the D.C. Mayor’s Office, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Prince George’s County Police Department (PGPD), area federal partners like the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and local schools, the DEA Washington Division was able to take part in programs on many fronts.
This year, the DEA Washington Division is taking that work even further – working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Columbia (USAO DC) in addition to local and federal partners to form working groups, targeted investigative groups, using data and trends, and linking with community resource efforts to launch innovative, new solutions to the problem.
“Safety in our communities is a fundamental right we all deserve from our government,” said SAC Forget. “The effects that these types of drug-related violent crimes have on victims, their families, and our community are as obvious as they are tragic. We will do everything we can to stand up against this issue and work to keep our area families safer.”
A Community-centered Approach
As new enforcement initiatives start to roll out, DEA Washington and area partners are continuing to work on developing their relationships with area residents directly impacted by drug-related violence. Focusing on a more proactive and “holistic” approach to addressing the issue of drug-related violence in area cities, SAC Forget’s new strategy aims at high-level criminal activity, repeat issues, and also includes supporting community-led initiatives that attempt to break the cycle of violence.
Core initiatives of the DEA Washington Division’s violent
crime reduction efforts in and around the Nation’s Capital continue to be high-level initiatives like the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhood, Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) groups, High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) groups, and more. However, SAC Forget and ASAC Rothermund are also taking a proactive, local-community-centered approach by launching Opioid and Violent Crime groups, Operation Engage partnerships, Ward 7 and 8 Community pop-up events, and more. All of these efforts, centered on a holistic and partnered approach, are aimed to make a marked difference in D.C. communities.
The cornerstone of this years’ new strategy is the collaborative teamwork it will take to implement. Working on this rollout for over a year, SAC Forget and ASAC Rothermund have been able to form stronger working partnerships with city, local, and federal partners through regular meetings, exchanging information, outlining areas of mutual concern, and discussing proactive solutions. This work has enabled DEA Washington Division and its partners to launch a new and confidently impactful strategy to fight violent crime and keep area families and communities safer.
More to Come
Protecting communities across the Washington D.C. area is a top priority for the DEA Washington Division. In partnering with the D.C. Mayor’s Office, MPD, ATF, USAO D.C., D.C. Community Services Organizations and more, SAC Forget has put forth his new strategy to help combat violent crime in Washington D.C.
The DEA encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.gov, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.gov, www.CampusDrugPrevention.gov, and www.dea.gov.
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