ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester is now at 79 homicides for 2021. Two shootings occurred this weekend alone, and one of those left a man in his 20s dead.
On Monday, News 8’s Eriketa Cost checked in with the head of the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force as they work to track down these violent offenders daily.
Charles Salina is head of the task force in Western New York. He says crime may be increasing, but so is their staffing.
“I know the task force members are going to have another successful week,” he said.
He says the team has been going through list after list of offenders, like never before. Over the past year, the team has bulked up to its largest size in history, all to meet intense demands of 2021.
Salina says this week, another crew of New York State troopers and Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies will be sworn in.
“The investigative agency, whether RPD or MCSO, will do an investigation, and if they identify a suspect then that’s when the task force comes in,” he said.
The team started working on a new list of 35 suspects last week and has already made eight arrests.
Multiple cases in the past month have even led them out-of-state. One homicide leading to Ohio, and a stabbing all the way to Texas.
“That message is very strong if you commit a crime here, even if you flee to another state or out of country, we will be able to apprehend you,” said Salina.
While progress is made every day, Salina says there are a few concerns keeping him up at night.
“The younger suspects is what’s concerning to me, we’re arresting 16, 17, 18 year old kids,” he said.
Another major concern is how many suspects are armed on arrival.
“Back 10 years ago we would find them, and rarely we would find someone armed with a gun. On that other last list we had, 15 or 16 of 38 suspects were armed with a gun at the time of arrest.”
Overall Salina has confidence looking at the list, and is hopeful long hours will pay off.
“I know shootings are still occurring, but we are apprehending the ones responsible. Above 95% I mean,” said Salina. “I have great confidence in the task force members.”
Salina says members of the task force say any information or tips from the public are also crucial in these investigations.
You can report a tip to 911 or Rochester crime stoppers. The number for that is 585-423-9300.