Metro Gang Strike Force replacement group starts work today

A temporary police unit set up to combat gang activity will get to work on Monday.

The unit replaces the Metro Gang Strike Force, which is suspended indefinitely after an audit criticized how it handled seized cash and cars. The FBI is investigating, and there is a separate state review under way.

Hennepin County Sheriff's Capt. Chris Omodt will lead the unit. He had been commander of the previous unit since January and is the only member of the old unit to remain. St. Paul police Commander Brian Coyle will be assistant commander.

Eight other officers from other agencies will participate, including the cities of Lino Lakes, Maplewood, Richfield, St. Paul, and West St. Paul, and Dakota, Ramsey and Washington counties. The Department of Corrections is providing an analyst.

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