NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A task force has rounded up 229 fugitives, 40 of them homicide suspects.
Law enforcement officers from 19 jurisdictions on Thursday wrapped up a six-week mission dubbed Operation Violence Reduction. A dozen cities were involved in the national effort to get violent offenders off the street.
"I would categorize this as the most significant we've been involved in," said U.AS. Attorney Kenneth Polite.
Across Southeast Louisiana, 120 officers arrested 40 people wanted for homicide and 35 for robbery. One of the arrestees, Lionel Trumble, escaped from Orleans Sheriff's custody on Feb. 29 and was still wearing leg irons when he was nabbed on Milan Street.
These crackdowns can be dangerous. JPSO officer Stephen Arnold was working with a different task force when he was shot in the Ninth Ward two months ago.
"Every day they go out, they don't know what they are going to face, and what's behind the door," said Darlene Cusanza with Crimesoppers.
Because the feds are involved, local officers are able to learn about new crime-fighting technologies and officers are federalized to make arrests outside their jurisdictions.
"We need to have a team like this to go across all those boundaries to get those individuals," Polite said.
Polite said 27 sex offenders were also taken off the streets, and he expects the sweep will make a difference in neighborhoods across the city.
"Those people knew who was responsible for much of that violence, so taking them off the streets improved the communities where they live," he said.