War on Organized Crime Faltering--Federal Strike Forces Not Getting the Job Done

GGD-77-17: Published: Mar 17, 1977. Publicly Released: Mar 17, 1977.

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The federal effort to coordinate the fight against organized crime involved the creation of the Department of Justice's strike forces. The operations of the strike forces located in Cleveland, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Los Angeles, California; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Brooklyn and Manhattan, New York were investigated.

The strike forces are located in areas of major organized crime activity and are composed primarily of representatives from federal investigative agencies and attorneys of Justice. Work at the strike force locations showed that: (1) the government has not developed a strategy to fight organized crime; (2) there is no agreement on what organized crime is; (3) the strike forces have no statements of objectives or plans for achieving those objectives; (4) individual strike forces are hampered because the Justice attorneys-in-charge have no authority over participants from other agencies; and (5) a costly computerized organized crime intelligence system is of dubious value.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: In order to improve the federal effort to fight organized crime, Justice should: (1) identify what and whom the strike forces are combating; (2) develop a national strategy for fighting organized crime; (3) centralize federal efforts, giving someone the responsibility and authority for developing plans and overseeing their implementation; and (4) establish a system for evaluating the effectiveness of the national and individual strike force efforts.

    Agency Affected:


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