WEDGE chairperson and Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel announced Monday that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Chicago office has joined the WEDGE Gang and Drug Task Force. DEA will be partnering as a liaison to the task force.
The partnership with DEA highlights the cooperation that needs to take place to combat gang activity in greater Cook County.
Chief Tom Weitzel stated, “This multi-jurisdictional operational task force partnership has never been more important than they are today. We work with our counterparts at every level of government: local, state, federal, and in some cases, international. The inclusion of DEA in this multi-agency task force only enhances our ability to gather intelligence and work closely on joint investigations at both a local and federal level.”
DEA special agent in charge John Riley stated, “Violent street gangs wreak havoc in the neighborhoods where they operate and have a dangerous impact on the entire community. DEA, in conjunction with local police agencies and task forces, are committed to protecting the community by targeting illegal gangs and taking illegal drugs and criminals off the street.”
“With the Chicago Police Department’s new initiative on street gang suppression, the WEDGE Gang and Drug Task Force is ready to ensure that street gang activity in the municipalities served by WEDGE is not only held in check but that we will take a proactive stance in eradicating gang and drug activity,” said Chief Weitzel.
This multi-jurisdictional task force and our partnership at the federal level is a good example of the ability of combine resources to marshall more assets to combat gang and drug activity.