ST. PAUL -- A new task force, initiated by the federal government, has been assembled to fight a spike in gun violence and violent crime in the Twin Cities.

United States Attorney Erica MacDonald Wednesday announced the formation of the new Violent Crime Task Force. The collaborative effort will leverage federal and state resources to help local law enforcement agencies investigate, arrest, and prosecute individuals responsible for violent activity.

“The goal of this Task Force is not to flood our communities with law enforcement, but rather to leverage law enforcement’s collective resources to allow for focused and effective enforcement actions,” MacDonald said. “Bringing safety and security back to our cities requires collaboration, and we need law enforcement, city leaders and community members all working together toward the common goal of bringing an end to this violence.”

The Task Force, which will operate from a multi-agency command center, is made up of federal agents from the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, United States Secret Service, United States Marshals Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Local authorities include police officers from the Minneapolis and St. Paul Police Departments, deputies from the Hennepin, Ramsey and Dakota counties Sheriff’s Offices, and federal and state prosecutors.

The public is encouraged to share tips related to violent activity by calling 1-800-CALLFBI or submit pictures online.