When with think of hotbeds of crime, Iowa probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind. You probably think corn, not crime.
Still, nowhere is immune to criminal activity. We’ve always had people who break the law and we always will. Not only that, but we’ll have them pretty much everywhere.
However, police there are taking a major step in addressing the problem.
A task force led by the U.S. Marshals Service has arrested 40 individuals through an operation targeting violent crime in Black Hawk County.
The task force, called “Operation Washout,” has been working the last four weeks to arrest fugitives, gang members, sex offenders, and violent criminals. Along with the 40 individuals arrested, the Marshals Service says that over 900 grams of narcotics were confiscated, and 22 alleged gang members were apprehended.
“This operation is focused on identifying the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and developing comprehensive solutions to address them,” Chris Barther, acting U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Iowa, said.
The Marshals Service also says that they’ve identified five violent crime fugitives that have likely fled the state, which will be part of the next phase of the operation.
“As we move into the next phase of this operation, the Northern Iowa Fugitive Task Force will work to identify locations on these known fugitives and ensure they are brought to justice,” Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Phil Hartung said. “With fugitive Task Forces located in every major city throughout the United States, the U.S. Marshals have a network in place ready to act on information.”
This is apparently one of 50 task forces throughout the country trying to round up violent criminals, and this is the exact kind of thing we need to see more of.
We’ve long known that the vast majority of the violent crime in any community is committed by a small handful of offenders. By focusing on these people, arresting them as they’re able, police there have done more to make their communities safer than any gun control law ever could.
Right now, it’s in Iowa, but we’ll keep seeing things like this all over the nation, hopefully.
If we want to really root out violent crime, we need to get to the roots. Right now, the root we know is that a small number of people commit the lion’s share of violent crimes. Watching these folks and arresting them when they break the law removes them from the society they’d prefer to victimize.
Undoubtedly, some will take profound issue with this. They’ll claim these people were targeted for any number of reasons and should be released immediately. They’ll blame the police for the problem.
However, these folks aren’t just being arrested for fun. They’re accused of having broken the law and they’ll get their day in court to face those accusations. If they’re innocent, I sincerely hope they go free and live their lives. If not, though, they’re going to prison and their home communities will be so much the safer for it.