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Operation FALCON: Getting results

In the past week, hundreds of law enforcement agencies in a dozen districts have arrested more than 2,300 fugitives, cleared more than 3,000 warrants, and seized almost 50 weapons in Operation FALCON 2008, which focuses on violent offenders, gang members, and sex offenders.

Chief Deputy Tommy Thompson, Deputy Commander of Operation FALCON, told PoliceOne in an exclusive interview: “I would like thank the officers in the 12 districts that did this last week – they worked very hard and had outstanding results. The U.S. Marshals Service is honored to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them and work these warrants with them.”

Among the advantages to Operation FALCON are the resources brought to the local agencies in terms of financial assistance – this year that came in the form of officer overtime and gas money for agencies hard-hit by the rising costs of topping off the tank.

Some benefits are harder to count but in fact, count for more. Chief Deputy Thompson told PoliceOne: “Over the past several years we’ve done this it has increased the cooperation among agencies.” Working together, going into houses, and serving warrants as a team has helped officers from different agencies to get to know each other, increasing cooperation among individual agents and their agencies long after FALCON is over.

“The thing about FALCON is that it’s people getting in the car, riding out, knocking on the door, and [using] old-fashioned shoe-leather and follow-up,” Thompson says. “We’re getting everybody together and we’re able to focus on serving theses warrants and for some departments that’s difficult to do…It just helps the community by getting these people off the streets.”

More than 36,500 fugitives have been arrested and 45,300 warrants cleared in the four preceding years of Operation FALCON. The breakdown for preceding years is as follows:

FALCON I (April 4-10, 2005) 10,340 fugitives arrested and 13,851 warrants cleared
FALCON II (April 17-13, 2006) 903 fugitives arrested and 10.419 warrants cleared
FALCON III (October 22-28, 2006) 10,733 fugitives arrested and 13,333 warrants cleared
FALCON 2007 (June- September) 6,406 fugitives arrested and 7,766 warrants cleared

Led by the U.S. Marshals Service, Operation FALCON (Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally) is a component of the U.S. Marshals Service's Violent Crime Reduction Strategy and involves local, state, and federal officers working together to locate and apprehend criminals.

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