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Department of Public Safety to launch career-criminal squad in Arizona

PHOENIX — The Department of Public Safety is working to zero in on repeat offenders with the creation of a career-criminal squad.

DPS Director, Col. Frank Milstead created a similar squad during his tenure as Chief of Mesa police and is taking a page out of that playbook with the creation of a statewide squad.

“They were highly effective in the East Valley,” said Deputy Director Heston Silbert.

The multi-agency squad will see help from the Phoenix Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to track down serious repeat offenders.

“We tend with those career criminals who are affiliated with prison gangs, white supremacy groups, street gangs, so what we would call organized and semi-organized crime,” Silbert said.

The detectives and supervisors that will be part of the squad are handpicked and have experience apprehending career criminals, according to Silbert.

He said DPS expects the squad to be operational in June.