Saturday, June 02, 2007

The Keystone Kops are Alive and Well!

...and sure enough, their name is "the Feds."

The report, released Friday by Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine, warned of problems with federal crime-fighting task forces. It concluded the teams duplicate efforts and compete for help from local authorities while failing to communicate among themselves. The poor communication, in particular, resulted in three so-called "blue-on-blue" cases where federal agents mistook each other for criminals.

Those incidents, which the report found "put officers' safety at risk," included:

_An undercover ATF agent and informant in Chicago bought a loaded gun from an informant working for the FBI's Safe Streets task force.

_FBI Safe Streets agents in Atlanta pulled over a member of a U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force whose car matched the description of a suspect both teams were looking for.

_ATF agents working an undercover sting at a Las Vegas gun show arrested a suspect for illegally buying firearms. The buyer turned out to be an informant working for the FBI — even though the ATF had taken steps to make sure there would be no overlap between federal agencies.

Fine's inspectors studied task forces in eight cities: Atlanta, Birmingham, Ala., Camden, N.J., Chicago, Gary, Ind., Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. Nearly 130 task force members in the cities reported working on at least 45 duplicate investigations.

The FBI's "Safe Streets" program involves a lot of people with a lot of firepower--and apparently, no brains.

HT: Grim's Hall

No comments: