A series of high-profile arrests has been made in the Washington, D.C., area by the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, one of five across the country that hunt down most wanted fugitives, says the Washington Post. “We are looking for the worst of the worst,” said James Werking, supervisor of the task force, which formed in October 2003. “Whenever the community has an urgent need for a particular suspect or a fugitive in a case or a crime spree who poses immediate danger, we pool our resources and make those cases a priority.”
Congress mandated the approach in 2000 legislation, setting up similar groups in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta. The D.C. area task force made 1,955 fugitive felony arrests in 2004, statistics show. “The main reason we use them is because they have the expertise, staffing, resources, and experience to track and locate wanted individuals,” said George Mathews, a spokesman for the Greenbelt, Md., Police Department. The task force’s success is helped by the national network of marshals. “The marshals system is set up so that I can call California at any time and say I have a warrant and go get him and they will. We don’t have to go through red tape,” said one official.