After surge of federal agents ends, officials in Kanas City tout results of Operation LeGend

Tribune Content Agency

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Days after it was announced that more than 200 federal agents and investigators involved in Operation LeGend have left Kansas City, local and federal officials gathered to talk about the results of the crime-fighting initiative.

At a news conference Monday, U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison said 500 arrests were made as part of the operation and federal charges were filed in about 125 cases.

Garrison was joined by Mayor Quinton Lucas and Police Chief Rick Smith at a fire station on Indiana Avenue, where last week a child was brought after being fatally shot.

Operation LeGend was named after another child killed by gun violence in Kansas City: 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was shot and while sleeping in his bedroom this summer. The operation was started in Kansas City by order of the U.S. Department of Justice and was expanded to eight other cities, including St. Louis, Memphis and Detroit.

In Kansas City, the operation promised the help of hundreds of federal agents to help stop a surge of violent crime.

Last week, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri said federal agents who were part of the surge have returned to their home districts.

From the beginning, officials have said the operation would be a short-term one, Don Ledford, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, told The Star.

In a statement last week, U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison said while the agents have left, “the lessons learned and the strategies implemented under Operation LeGend remain, even as this community continues the multi-faceted work of reducing violent crime.”

On Monday, Garrison said an FBI special agent would be assigned to the Kansas City Police Department Homicide Unit.

Kansas City remains on pace for its deadliest year on record. As of Monday, 149 people have been killed in the city, according to data kept by The Star. When counting four fatal police shootings, the bloodiest year yet was 2017, with 155 killings.


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