Tuesday, August 07, 2001

Police, ATF agents to talk more


Goal: Eliminate illegal guns in city

By Dan Horn and Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Cincinnati police and federal authorities agreed Monday to work more closely together to curb the gun violence that has plagued the city this summer.

        The goal is to improve communication and cooperation between police officers and agents for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

        “There's going to be enhanced levels of coordination to ensure that nothing falls between the cracks,” said Chris Tardio, agent in charge of the ATF in Cincinnati. “We're trying to eliminate the illegal guns in the community.”

        Although police and ATF agents routinely work together on investigations, Mr. Tardio said the two agencies will now talk more frequently and share more information about the gun trade.

        The gun violence in Cincinnati this summer is among the worst the city has seen in decades. The surge in violence began after three days of rioting in April. Police have reported 70 shootings involving 85 victims, includ ing 13 fatalities.

        Even before the meeting Monday, police and ATF agents had stepped up their work together on gun cases. In June, they arrested a convicted felon they think was a significant supplier of the guns being used in the violence this summer.

        Dwight Plair was found with eight rifles and semiautomatic handguns, plus more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, authorities said.

        He had been convicted in 1968 of shooting at a Cincinnati officer.

        “We agreed that we should continue that type of commitment,” Lt. Kim Frey said of the meeting Monday.

       



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