Law enforcement task forces involving multiple jurisdictions are “the wave of the future,” New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow said today. Addressing the annual forum of the National Criminal Justice Association in Jersey City, N.J., Dow said that especially in times of fiscal stress, police and prosecutors should be doing more collaborating–an approach she said is “much underutilized.” Dow offered as an example a federal-state-county task force based in Essex County, N.J., that helped break up a major carjacking ring this year.
A similar multi-agency partnership in New Jersey, Violent Enterprise Strategic Targeting, or VEST, helped arrest 170 suspected drug dealers and seize large quantities of drugs. Other collaborative efforts are dealing with problems such as apprehending high-risk parole violators. “It is time to tear down the barricades and walls” separating law enforcement agencies and “embrace resource sharing,” Dow said, stressing a theme of “doing more with less.” The criminal justice forum, including officials from many states, is holding a 3-day session in Jersey City. Yesterday, the group marked the coming 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks with speakers who took part in the 9/11 aftermath at New York City’s World Trade Center.