In June of 2010 law enforcement personnel and corporate retail partners came together to discuss the issues of organized retail crime. In an effort to more efficiently and effectively prevent, investigate and prosecute these criminals we have together created the Cook County State's Attorney's Office Regional Organized Crime Task Force. Unique to other task forces, law enforcement and retailers are coming together to work as partners. Though individuals investigating these crimes have created their own relationships this will bring all the parties to the same table.
In November 2010 we launched this website, a secured, members-only, website database that provides current reporting of organized retail crime. The retail partners have an opportunity to input information from crimes occurring in their stores that is used to create mapping patterns, investigations and identify fencing operations. Law enforcement partners also have access to provide the retailers with information and alerts. These time sensitive reports allow retailers and law enforcement to make immediate apprehensions by tremendously cutting investigation times and determining patterns as criminals are striking. It also allows for retailers to be prepared as these criminal teams hit. To coincide with this database there are investigative meetings that bring law enforcement and retailers together to work on specific investigations and quarterly meetings to discuss investigations, current problems and issues. This is an unprecedented opportunity to bring law enforcement and retailers together in a real working group. In addition to this effort we have also launched an effort to write and present legislation to give us greater tools to fight organized retail crime.