A Beaufort Police Department’s investigator will work on a violent crimes task force with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when it’s in town, the city decided Tuesday night.
The agreement between federal and local law enforcement will not cost the city anything and could even bring in money, Police Chief Matthew Clancy said in an email on Wednesday. The city will “be eligible for percentages of any seizures made by the task force,” he said.
When the bureau is working in the area, a police department investigator will temporarily work on federal cases with the task force on an as-needed basis. The local investigator will continue to work a regular case load with the police department, Clancy said. There is no set end date of the cooperation.
“This will enhance the department’s capability to investigate deeper into illegal gun cases,” Clancy said. “Instead of an arrest ending with city jurisdiction, further details like where and how the illegal firearm was obtained can be pursued. It is hoped that this will help us to take dangerous and repeat offenders off of the street for longer periods of time.”
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The aim is to “get to the root of the crime” through cooperation between the two agencies and to get illegal firearms out of criminals’ hands by bringing the help of new investigative resources brought to Beaufort by the bureau’s task force, the chief said.
City Council voted Tuesday night to allow City Manager Bill Prokop to enter the city into the memorandum of understanding with the bureau, Mayor Billy Keyserling said on Wednesday.