Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Police help take gang members into custody (Watertown Daily Times)

Police help take gang members into custody
Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 12:29 pm

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations unit and the Watertown Police Department took seven foreign-born gang members into custody this morning.

ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations is currently coordinating the detention and deportation of the seven illegal aliens to their home countries.

The Watertown Police Department is working cooperatively with federal agencies to identify local gang members who are in United States illegally and are involved in criminal enterprises in the immediate area.

The anti-gang operation, known as Community Shield, targets foreign-born gang members and their associates throughout the Watertown area. Under Operation Community Shield, ICE partners with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to target the significant public safety threat posed by transitional criminal street gangs.

“Transitional gangs and their members pose a threat to our community,” said Watertown police Chief Tim Roets. “This operation capitalizes on both the enhanced intelligence information from the federal agencies and their statutory arrest authority.”

Roets said the police department works to identify the individuals and then provides the names to ICE to make sure they are not United States citizens.

Roets added that the Watertown Police Department will continue to work with ICE to help curb gang activities in the community.

“The operation has been a success,” Roets said. “We plan to continue operations of this nature in the future by partnering with U.S. Immigration and Customs and targeting foreign born criminals operating in our city.”

According to Roets, law enforcement agencies in Milwaukee, Madison and Kenosha have also taken part in Community Shield.

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