- Police seek help from the Justice Department to better cope with rising violence
- In Baltimore, federal agents have been deployed to help with rising homicides
The efforts by city and law enforcement officials were outlined at the National Summit on Violence in America, organized by the Major Cities Chiefs Association. The event was prompted after a survey of 35 major cities in America revealed that homicides on average have increased
nearly 20%, as well as increases in non-fatal shootings and the presence of multiple firearms being used in shootings.
Tom Manger, police chief of Montgomery County, Maryland, and president of the association, said that police in most major cities are "going to shooting scenes now where you have more victims being shot, more spent rounds being collected as evidence, and finding more and more high capacity magazines involved in these shootings."
Baltimore police -- reacting to another rash of homicides over the weekend -- have deployed of 10 federal agents
to embed with them as part of their effort to address the increase in gun violence.
"It has every potential to be very effective," Manger said of Baltimore's addition of federal agents to its roster of law enforcement. "But if that proves to be a successful strategy and they actually think it's impacting their ability to investigate these homicides and solve them, I think you¹ll take note that Congress will decide, you know what? I think we need to give the feds the resources to be able to do this in other cities."
Other issues have contributed to the rise in violence, according to Manger, such as the prevalence of synthetic drugs. About 30% of the cities surveyed reported dealing with violent criminals under the influence of these new drugs, which have been linked to violent behavior.