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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:
July 09, 2009 Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Steve Hetherington
Public Affairs Officer (616) 437-3159
 
Operation FALCON 2009 Captures over 75 Fugitives in the Western District of Michigan
 

Western District of Michigan – The 49 counties in the Western District of Michigan are much safer this summer as local, state and federal law enforcement joined forces for a fugitive apprehension effort. FALCON, the acronym for Federal And Local Cops Organized Nationally, soared into the district in June. By the time the operation was over, 78 fugitives had been apprehended and 130 warrants cleared.

Operation FALCON 2009, the sixth in the series of U.S. Marshals Service-led fugitive apprehension initiatives, partnered deputy U.S. Marshals with local police, sheriffs, state troopers, and other federal agencies. Each department and agency dedicated manpower and resources to the goal of removing as many violent offenders from our streets and communities as possible while clearing backlogged warrants from law enforcement’s files.

The successful partnership has been bad news for criminals for the past five years, as law enforcement joined together, with community safety and crime reduction as a common goal. Since its inception in 2005, Operation FALCON has made 91,086 arrests and cleared 117,874 warrants. It continues to be the largest and most successful fugitive apprehension effort in U.S. Marshals history.

Arrests in the Western District of Michigan targeted fugitives wanted for crimes of violence. These fugitives included sex offenders, gang members, narcotics violators, and parole absconders. Participating agencies were encouraged to identify wanted persons within their communities, who were then targeted by assigned arrest teams within each geographical area. There were four FALCON arrest teams, consisting of five officers on each team. The arrest teams were made up of officers from nine federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. Each state and local officer was sworn as a Special Deputy U.S. Marshal for the operation. This special authority empowers them to cross traditional lines of jurisdiction to track down and arrest targeted fugitives throughout the operation.

“The goal of Operation FALCON is simple – to make communities safer,” said John F. Clark, Director of the U.S. Marshals Service. “Each time we wrap up a FALCON operation in any location, there are less dangerous individuals – and fewer threats to the community- than there were when we got there. That is very gratifying.”

“This type of operation cannot be done without the full support of our state and local partners and the level of that support is evident from the success of this operation,” said U.S. Marshal Bruce Nordin, Western District of Michigan. “This operation, along with our past FALCON efforts, provides a clear indication of what cooperation on all levels of law enforcement, federal, state, and local, can accomplish.”

Officers from the following departments and agencies participated in Operation FALCON in West Michigan:

  • Grand Rapids Police Department
  • Kent County Sheriff’s Department
  • Walker Police Department
  • Michigan State Police
  • Grandville Police Department
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Michigan Department of Corrections
  • U.S. Marshals
  • Michigan Department of Human Services – Office of Inspector General

For more information on Operation FALCON 2009, please visit www.usmarshals.gov/falcon09/index.html.

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