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Federal-Local Law Enforcement Collaboration in Investigating and Prosecuting Urban Crime, 1982-1999: Drugs, Weapons, and Gangs, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2000
210 pages
This study provides a historical overview of the growth in Federal-local law enforcement collaboration as a means of addressing urban crime over the past several decades (1982-1999), with attention to the work of 10 Federal-local task forces and other law enforcement collaborations to address weapons, gangs, and drugs in the urban areas of San Diego, CA; Memphis, TN; and Detroit, MI.
The study relied primarily on government program documentation, secondary source material (chiefly newspaper and journal articles), and interviews with Federal Government officials. The study focused on direct operational forms of Federal-local cooperation rather than various indirect modes of operation. "Collaboration" was defined as "law enforcement operations or operational planning involving two or more enforcement agencies that cross geographic or criminal justice system agency boundaries." The study addressed urban crime related to weapons, gangs, and drugs, since these have been the major targets of Federal-local law enforcement collaboration over the past two decades. A detailed review of the historical evolution of Federal-local collaboration to address urban crime shows that it took shape under a variety of factors, notably the scope of urban crime, financial issues, and the apparent successes of Federal, State, and local law enforcement cooperation. Today, there are large national congressionally funded task force programs as well as discretionary grant programs that support Federal-local law enforcement collaborations. A section on insights into the effective operation and impact of Federal-local law enforcement collaboration against urban crime addresses the structuring and management of task forces and other collaborations against urban crime; the management of decisions concerning concurrent jurisdiction; the effective facilitation of local law enforcement coordination against urban crime; the effect of urban crime collaboration on law enforcement organizations and operations; and the community impact of Federal-local law enforcement collaboration against urban crime. The study concludes with the identification and discussion of factors that make it likely that Federal-local collaborations against urban crime will continue in the future. 27 figures, extensive notes, and appended supplementary materials associated with Federal-local law enforcement collaboration

Date Published: May 1, 2000