CRIME, POLICE + COURTS
VFAST foresees to apprehend more violent criminals after pandemic
SALT LAKE CITY- The Violent Fugitive Apprehension Task Force, VFAST, is a force set up in Utah to apprehend the most violent criminals. The task force is made up of federal and local officers including those working specifically with parole and adult probation.
VFAST their efforts have been slowed down by the pandemic over the last year, but that will soon change.
With the increase of the homeless population due to the pandemic, crimes rose by 21% in the state during 2020. In that same year, the task force arrested more than 180 fugitives, however, compared to last year it is not anywhere they thought they would be.
Before that, they have apprehended more than 1,000 fugitives in Utah.
VFAST prepares to apprehend more violent criminals
VFAST reported due to masks, restrictions and more people staying inside have forced them to prioritize. Commander Nick Chournos, from the U.S. Marshall’s Service, said another trend they are seeing is they are arresting the same people again and again.
“You can imagine what it is like for them to see their offender be locked away and then a short time later, be released,” Chournos said.
The message VFAST wanted to send is while the pandemic may have provided a break for some fugitives, “the party is now over”. Once the pandemic ends, VFAST foresees itself having the ability to apprehend more violent criminals.
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