FBI to oversee gang strike force replacement

Just months after authorities shut down the troubled Metro Gang Strike Force, officials are working on plans for a new federally-run task force with a focus on violent gang-related crime.

The unit would combine personnel from city, state and federal law enforcement and be overseen by the FBI. It would be modeled after similar programs operating in other states.

State Public safety commissioner Michael Campion says the new task force will use federal law enforcement and prosecutorial resources to fight high level crime.

"To have the support of the U.S. Attorney's office and those federal agencies and then to have local agencies in Minneapolis and St. Paul and others is just a real important development," he said. "And it will really focus on those career criminals, those repeat offenders and those criminal enterprises that continue to cause problems here in Minnesota."

Campion says the new task force would fill the gap left by the closure of the troubled Metro Gang Strike Force, which is under investigation for allegedly seizing confiscated property for officers' own personal use.

The new task force is expected to be approved within the next few weeks.

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