U.S. Marshals deputy director meets with North Texas law enforcement to discuss violent crime reduction

The deputy director of the U.S. Marshals Service is in North Texas to meet with law enforcement and community leaders. They want to work together to drive down violent crime.

Law enforcement from across North Texas met with the deputy director in Grand Prairie for a roundtable discussion about the overall reduction in crime across DFW and how it can serve as a model for other parts of the country.

"Violent crime reduction is a collaboration," said U.S. Marshals Service Acting Deputy Director Mark Pittella.

Local police and sheriffs and federal agents work shoulder to shoulder with the U.S. Marshals Service through the Violent Crime Taskforce.

"Comprised of over 20 agencies who are dedicated to taking thousands of violent offenders out of our communities who have warrants outstanding and to keep our communities safer and to prevent violent crime from escalating," explained Leigha Simonton, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Texas.

Law enforcement met with Pittella to share strategies, like evidenced-based policing, how to deal with illegal drugs and the gun violence that comes with that risky business.

"I think the main takeaway is that crime in North Texas is down, and it continues to be driven down by hard work and tenacious cops," said Grand Prairie Police Chief Daniel Scesney. "And in my humble opinion, that's something that could be emulated across the country."

Local and federal law enforcement know there must be buy-in from the people they protect and serve for positive outcomes.

"It's not only from the law enforcement entities though; it's also from the community and building that trust with the community," Pittella said. "And transparency with the community is definitely paramount in the violent crime reduction. we've done that today. we've had some great dialog with our community leaders and with our civic leaders."

Like Pastor Michael Evans, who lost a former member of his congregation, Bethlehem Baptist Church. Mansfield native Lindsey Vicknair lost her life to gun violence at a Juneteenth celebration in Round Rock last weekend.


Mansfield mother killed in Round Rock Juneteenth shooting

Lyndsey Vicknair was an innocent bystander shot and killed Saturday night at a Juneteenth celebration in Round Rock. Her husband performed CPR, trying to save her. "Help just didn't arrive in time."

"One of the things that is so very important is the ongoing relationships that we have in the community, that we have with law enforcement," Evans said. "We talk about community policing and how important it is engaging with people during the good times as well as the bad."

Not just to reduce violent crime but also to prevent it.

"We have to get uncomfortable and get in communities to build relationships to keep that young boy and girl on a good path," said Grand Prairie Mayor Ron Jensen.