Everyone can rest easier now, right?
The U.S. Marshals Service, in collaboration with various law-enforcement agencies, including the Maricopa County Sherriff's Department, took more than 600 criminals off the streets in Arizona during June. Or did they?
In reality, Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally (FALCON), a month-long effort by the U.S. Marshals Service to use local law-enforcement resources to drag in the so-called dregs of society, just arrested 600 criminals in the state.
Where they are now is anyone's guess.
"We actually don't keep track," says Marshals Deputy Matt Hershey, "I'm sure a lot of them were able to bond out fairly quickly."
Hershey says that's part of the problem.
He says FALCON is a successful program, which almost doubles the amount of arrests made by the Marshals Service during months it is in effect, but in a lot of cases, it's like handing a criminal a piece of paper reminding him that he's a criminal and sending him on his way.
"It comes down to the courts," he says. "Our job is to arrest them, but we're not authorized to take it much further than that."
Officer Robert Bailey of the Arizona Department of Public Safety agrees.
"In a lot of these rural areas, sometimes people are hiding in plain sight and we do a lot better if we're working together to find them," he says. "Once they're booked, a lot of things can happen."
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