Feds answer Baltimore’s SOS on violence

Updated 3:30 PM EDT, Tue August 4, 2015
baltimore jail closing pkg_00012620.jpg
WBAL
baltimore jail closing pkg_00012620.jpg
Now playing
00:49
As crime surges in Baltimore, Feds to help
baltimore violent crime after freddie gray death marquez dnt tsr_00000404.jpg
WABL
baltimore violent crime after freddie gray death marquez dnt tsr_00000404.jpg
Now playing
02:43
Baltimore violent crime surges after riots
Freddie Gray arrest Baltimore
WJZ
Freddie Gray arrest Baltimore
Now playing
01:59
Officers cleared in Freddie Gray's death
baltimore police interview brooke part 1_00013029.jpg
baltimore police interview brooke part 1_00013029.jpg
Now playing
05:41
Baltimore cop: 'This is a life-changing event'
baltimore police interview brooke part 2_00011813.jpg
baltimore police interview brooke part 2_00011813.jpg
Now playing
05:17
Baltimore officer: Proactive policing 'has stopped'
community organizer deray mckesson wolf blitzer intv_00001816.jpg
community organizer deray mckesson wolf blitzer intv_00001816.jpg
Now playing
03:38
Community organizer on violence in Baltimore protests
lead dnt sidner police union baltimore mayor_00005102.jpg
lead dnt sidner police union baltimore mayor_00005102.jpg
Now playing
01:57
Department of Justice announces Baltimore police probe
nr bpr jones baltimore police gun suspect _00000227.jpg
WBAL
nr bpr jones baltimore police gun suspect _00000227.jpg
Now playing
01:55
Baltimore police: Reports of man shot not true
freddie gray autopsy fenton sot ac_00001107.jpg
freddie gray autopsy fenton sot ac_00001107.jpg
Now playing
01:45
Freddie Gray suffered a single 'high-energy' injury
pkg sidner anthony batts profile_00005008.jpg
pkg sidner anthony batts profile_00005008.jpg
Now playing
01:26
Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts fired
A sign inside the back door of a Baltimore police detainee transport vehicle warns about the ride
From Oliver Janney
A sign inside the back door of a Baltimore police detainee transport vehicle warns about the ride
Now playing
02:35
Baltimore police van sign: "Enjoy your ride"
nr sot police baltimore incident presser_00000807.jpg
nr sot police baltimore incident presser_00000807.jpg
Now playing
01:02
Baltimore police: Man was not injured
rev frank reid on baltimore live ac_00003206.jpg
rev frank reid on baltimore live ac_00003206.jpg
Now playing
02:57
Rev. Frank Reid on Baltimore violence
People attend a rally lead by faith leaders in front of Baltimore's city hall calling for justice in response to the death of Freddie Gray on Sunday May 3.
Andrew Burton/Getty Images
People attend a rally lead by faith leaders in front of Baltimore's city hall calling for justice in response to the death of Freddie Gray on Sunday May 3.
Now playing
02:23
'You can protest, but keep the peace'
:A body camera from Taser is seen during a press conference at City Hall September 24, 2014 in Washington, DC. The Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department is embarking on a six- month pilot program where 250 body cameras will be used by officers. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
:A body camera from Taser is seen during a press conference at City Hall September 24, 2014 in Washington, DC. The Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department is embarking on a six- month pilot program where 250 body cameras will be used by officers. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
04:52
Senator presses for body cameras on police
RS Did the media do Baltimore justice?_00014924.jpg
RS Did the media do Baltimore justice?_00014924.jpg
Now playing
04:52
Did the media do Baltimore justice?
nr baldwin intv boulware neighborhood_00000310.jpg
nr baldwin intv boulware neighborhood_00000310.jpg
Now playing
01:44
Resident: We need to invest more into our children
NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 03:  Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens looks on against the San Francisco 49ers during Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 03: Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens looks on against the San Francisco 49ers during Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:57
Ray Lewis to protesters: 'Go home'

Story highlights

5 federal agencies to embed agents with Baltimore homicide detectives

Baltimore has had 191 homicides so far in 2015

(CNN) —  

Baltimore is turning to the federal government for help in stemming a dramatic uptick in violence over the last several months.

Ten federal agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Marshals Service will embed with the police department’s homicide unit for the next 60 days, city leaders announced Monday.

They join the 20 ATF agents who were sent in last week to form BFED, a joint task force that “is the next step of an all-hands-on-deck movement addressing violence in our community,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Monday.

’Innovative ways to bring charges’

The loaning of law enforcement officials is a common practice between local police departments and federal agencies for a particular investigation, but what makes this move unusual is that this isn’t for any one specific investigation, and the loaning is typically done the other way around – local detectives are usually plucked to assist a federal investigation, according to interim Police Commissioner Kevin Davis.

The task force’s federal reach will enable the city to “come up with innovative ways to bring charges against people harming the community,” that they otherwise couldn’t, said Davis.

“Our federal law enforcement partners bring tools to bear that we necessarily don’t enjoy, federal assets and federal techniques that will help us close more homicide cases,” he said.

All hands – or at least a lot of them – were on deck at Monday’s press conference announcing BFED.

“We will do all in our power to make sure the resources are here to make this endeavor a success,” said Maryland Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski, speaking on behalf of the state’s congressional delegation.

“There have been 191 killings (this year) in the city of Baltimore, that is completely unacceptable,” said Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. “The police can’t do it alone. The state’s attorney can’t do it alone.”

Allegations of police doing less as drugs are rampant in Baltimore

Record-breaking violence

The violence in Baltimore has been record-breaking so far this year.

The 42 homicides in May made it the city’s deadliest month since 1972, but that record, which stood for more than 40 years, was surpassed just two months later by 45 slayings in July.

Three days into August have brought three more homicides.

Violence is not uncommon in Baltimore. The city of more than 600,000 “has always had a very high homicide rate for many years,” city council member Carl Stokes told CNN.

But 2015 has been anything but ordinary.

The city has seemingly been in a perpetual state of turmoil ever since the events surrounding the death of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old man who died while in police custody in April.

The demonstrations that followed devolved into riots, plunging the city into a violent, chaotic powder keg that proved overwhelming for the local police department.

June: Baltimore police break silence on riots, murder spike and Freddie Gray

By the time the dust settled, Mosby had charged six Baltimore Police officers in Gray’s death, Rawlings-Blake had fired the police commissioner, and the city itself, like Ferguson, Missouri before it, had become a symbol of the mistrust and enmity many minority communities feel toward the police department.

One by one, Baltimore’s officials appealed to the community for their help in the effort.

“Community we need you to step forward; we cannot do this alone,” said Mosby. “Everyone has a stake in the safety and outcome of our communities.”

“If we are not working together, the community and the police together, none of us will see the safe city that we want to see,” said Rawlings-Blake.

“I said it before and I’ll say it again. The police need the community and the community needs the police,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat. “The only people who are doing pretty good now are the morticians.”

CNN’s Tal Trachtman Alroy contributed to this report.