(The Center Square) – Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell has announced the creation of new task force to deal with an uptick in shootings within the city.

The Violent Crime Task Force will be composed of Federal Way police officers who will work to identify the perpetrators of crimes.

Earlier this month, shootings occurred in Federal Way that resulted in the death of a two-year-old and the injury of a man near Pacific Highway, as well as another incident that injured a teenager at a nearby apartment complex.

“Our number one priority here at the City of Federal Way is the safety of our community,” Ferrell said in a news release. “We will move heaven and earth and deploy every resource available to find the perpetrator of the horrible murder of the two-year-old near IHOP and to locate and hold accountable those committing violent crimes in our community.”

So far this year, there have been four homicides in Federal Way this year, and 66 cases of aggravated assault and 38 robberies through March, according to data shared with The Center Square. Last year there were 11 homicides, 343 cases of aggravated assault and 238 robberies.

Two of the four homicides occurred within the last 30 days, alone, according to crime statistics.

Statistics from the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs showed that there were 11 murders in 2021 and eight in 2022. Aggravated assaults went up 10.6% from 2021 (293) to 2022 (324).

Federal Way Deputy Chief of Police Kyle Sumpter said the task force will find information on violent crime suspects and determine who is connected with them.

“We will use forensic evidence and other means to solve cases and bring violent offenders to justice,” Sumpter said. “We work around the clock to protect the people and families in Federal Way.”