[…]Massachusetts State Trooper Mike Cutone realized that the methods of the insurgents he combated as a Green Beret in Iraq were similar to those used by the Springfield gangs. “Insurgents and gang members both want to operate in a failed area,” he tells Stahl, referring to the breakdown in cooperation between the citizens and authorities. “They know they can live off the passive support of the community, where the community is not going to call or engage the local police,” says Cutone.
So he helped form an anti-gang unit of troopers who work with the Springfield Police Department employing tactics right out of his old military manual. Key to the strategy in the old New England town — just like in Baghdad or Basra — was re-engaging the citizens and making them allies instead of impediments. “We’re using the other 99 percent of the population that live there. Winning them over,” says Cutone. “They become our eyes and ears …floodgates have opened for criminal information that we can go after now.”
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