Dec. 4, 2019
Over 100 Arrests Made Through Protect Pensacola Joint Task Force
Over 100 arrests were made through the efforts of the Protect Pensacola joint task force established by the City of Pensacola, Pensacola Police Department and the United States Attorney’s Office, with multiple local, state and federal agencies partnering to address gun violence.
The task force encompassed multiple operations over approximately 90 days, with a goal of working proactively to stop gun violence and maintain public safety in the Pensacola community. Task force operations led to the arrest of 117 criminals for primarily felony charges, including assault, robbery and harboring fugitives.
“We are incredibly proud of the partnerships and hard work that went into making this joint task force a success, and we are grateful for the willingness of our federal, state and local partners to assist us in tackling gun violence in our city,” Mayor Grover Robinson said. “Because of the efforts of all agencies involved, the City of Pensacola and surrounding community are now safer with these criminals behind bars.”
“This joint task force was an incredible success, targeting and apprehending violent felony offenders who were committing serious crimes in our community,” Pensacola Police Chief Tommi Lyter said. “I can say with confidence that Pensacola is safer today because of this operation – but our work isn’t finished. We will continue to work in partnership with the DEA, U.S. Marshals, ATF and all of our law enforcement partners to apprehend dangerous criminals and keep residents safe.”
The task force also sought to make additional arrests in the deadly shooting of Elizabeth Harris, which took place on May 27, 2019 near the Platinum Club in Pensacola. A fourth arrest was made on Oct. 22, with United States Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force arresting Cordellious Lashawn Dyess near Atlanta on a warrant charging him with Felony Murder, Attempted Murder, Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, and Shooting a Deadly Missile into a Dwelling or Vehicle.
"One of our primary priorities in federal law enforcement is an active level of cooperation and collaboration with local law enforcement agencies that serve on the front lines of protecting public safety every day," said Larry Keefe, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida. "We're pleased to have entered in such a positive and productive alliance with our local partners here to Protect Pensacola with resources that have been effective and helpful in attacking gun violence."
Participating agencies included the Pensacola Police Department, U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Marshals Service, Office of the State Attorney, 1st Judicial Circuit, Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Homeland Security Investigations, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida Highway Patrol and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
“I appreciate the participation of all agencies in this matter," State Attorney Bill Eddins said. "It is particularly refreshing to see our federal agencies participate.”
The Protect Pensacola joint task force partnering agencies will continue to work together on operations addressing crime and gun violence.
As part of the task force partnership, the Pensacola Police Department will also receive VALOR training in January through the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance Survive & Thrive program. The program includes training on safety and preparedness, officer-citizen encounters, leadership and critical decision making. The training will take place in Pensacola Jan. 22-23, 2020.