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For Immediate Release

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December 18, 2009 DUSM Dewaine Allen, Western District of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division (479) 695-7000
NWA Sex Offender & Violent Crime Task Force Surpasses 1000 Arrests
Funding Close to an End

Fayetteville, AR – The U. S. Marshals Service and the Northwest Arkansas Sex Offender and Violent Crime Task Force recently surpassed a monumental mark. “This month marks 1000 fugitive arrests for the task force,” said Deputy U. S. Marshal Dewaine Allen. The Task Force began its work in November 2007, with a grant of more than $500,000. The grant was written and is administered by the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, but funding is close to an end. Without additional funding, the NWA Sex Offender and Violent Crime Task Force will have exhausted all resources in March 2010, and effectively conclude operations through the Benton County funding. The U. S. Marshals Service will continue operating the task force, but with limited resources.

According to Deputy Allen, “The grant monies have been used to purchase Task Force Officer vehicles, emergency lighting, radios and other equipment for officers.” The grant was also used to lease a private office space in Springdale until operations could be relocated to the U. S. Marshals Service office in Fayetteville. “Relocating saved us considerable funding, but resources are at an end, and we need additional funding to operate,” said Deputy Allen. Computers, phones, and overtime were also paid from the grant. “Unless additional resources are obtained, the task force will lose its most valuable resource…our administrative assistant, who is paid by the Benton County Sheriff’s Office via the grant,” said Deputy Allen.

The NWA Task Force and its many partners have arrested more than 1000 fugitives since inception. The task force performs sex offender compliance checks throughout Northwest Arkansas, and in its new location serves as the “Fusion Center”, a central location where sex offenders report to initially register, as well as update registration information such as employment, vehicle information, and residence status. Sex offenders from Benton County, Springdale, and Fayetteville currently report to the Fusion Center on a weekly basis.

The Northwest Arkansas Sex Offender and Violent Crime Task Force is comprised of the U. S. Marshals Service, Benton, Washington, Madison, and Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, as well as Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Siloam Springs, and the Bentonville Police Departments. The Arkansas Department of Community Corrections is also a valued member. The Benton County Sheriff’s Office currently manages the grant that funds the task force.

Every year, the U.S. Marshals and its associated task forces throughout the country arrest more fugitives than all federal law enforcement agencies combined. Last year, this number was more than 73,000 state and local fugitives and more than 36,000 federal fugitives. Additional information about the U.S. Marshals can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.


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