CLEVELAND - On the tenth anniversary of its formation, the Violent Fugitive Task Force of the U.S. Marshal Service of Northern Ohio is recognized for its accomplishments.
"There's not a more successful violent fugitive task force in the nation than ours," said U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott, who formed the task force in 2003. In that time, it has gotten recognition from local mayors all the way up to the Attorney General of the United States. In the attached video, Elliott and his partners explain how the task force works.
The U.S. Marshals of Northern Ohio are based in Cleveland, and a few dozen are responsible with catching fugitives across Ohio's northern forty counties.
Since the task force began in 2003, the Marshals have partnered with more than 125 law enforcement agencies and work with 375 law enforcement officers. In those ten years, those partners have caught more than 32,000 fugitives nationwide, wanted for crimes or parole violations in northern Ohio.
"Ten years been in existence, we're going to be in existence in twenty years, thirty years, and we're going to continue to build and grow," Elliott said.
On Friday, members of the task force and its partners gathered at the Cleveland Indians' Progressive Field to take a group photo, commemorating ten years of success. Those members included several local police chiefs, including Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath.
NewsChannel5 was the only Cleveland media company invited to attend the group photo, and the event marks the start of a new web series on newsnet5 focusing on the Northern Ohio Marshals.
"The partnership's great because there's so many different agencies involved that we can cover so much more area than we can if we were just one small unit," said Deputy U.S. Marshal Ryan Helfrich. "We get so many of the state and local brothers and sisters on the task force, we can cover more ground, and get more of the violent fugitives locked up,"
Jim Folk is the Vice President of Ballpark Operations at Progressive, and helped make Friday's group photo possible.
"It's just thrilling. The work that Pete Elliott is doing, along with the U.S. Marshals and Fugitive Task Force, it's just been terrific for this entire area," Folk said.
For Elliott, the feelings toward the Tribe are mutual. "I'm a lifelong Clevelander and I'm hoping for my first World Series victory."
More information about the U.S. Marshals of Northern Ohio can be found at: http://www.usmarshals.gov/district/oh-n/index.html .
[Look for Colin McDermott's upcoming web series about the U.S. Marshal Service of Northern Ohio.]