CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Charleston and South Charleston police officers continue their efforts to address local violent crime as part of a unique task force formed between the police departments.
Local leaders spoke about the partnership during a press conference on Monday at Charleston City Hall. Charleston Police Chief Opie Smith, South Charleston Police Chief Brad Rinehart and others discussed the objectives of the force, which was created in November.
The task force came after the Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office coordinated efforts in September to arrest six people allegedly connected to violent crimes on Charleston’s West Side. The police department issued the names of the individuals wanted for their alleged involvement in the violence. Officers arrested Tre Davis and Shalor Gore before the task force’s launch.
Through the task force, police officers worked with local and federal offices in addressing crime. Speakers thanked the Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office; the U.S. Attorney’s Office; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the U.S. Marshals Service for their assistance.
The task force, consisting of 20 officers across both departments, worked for around three weeks on the arrests.
Authorities arrested Malik Hawk and Braheem Griffen in November; Hawk was wanted for wanton endangerment with a firearm and Griffen was wanted on first-degree murder.
Four other people unrelated to September’s issuing were arrested on charges included a prohibited person in possession of a firearm and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.
“If y’all don’t pick up on the theme here, it’s teamwork,” Smith said. “This couldn’t have been done without all those people playing their parts. I’m just highly impressed with the works these guys did, and when you pull all of these resources together, you can just get more done and it’s just better for the community. It makes them a lot safer.”
Police are still looking for Lawrence Foye and Daniel Battle, and officers said they believe both are no longer in the area.