ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – After hundreds of arrests and thousands of citations, Arlington Police plan to extend a violent crime and car crash reduction operation in the city for at least another month.
In response to a 12% increase in violent crime, police said Monday, July 19, Operation Connect had resulted in 380 arrests.READ MORE: Fourth Stimulus Check: Is Another Relief Payment Coming Soon?
The city’s current homicide count of 13 for 2021 is down one from the same period last year, but Chief Al Jones said it was too early to say if the operation has been a success.
In targeting crime and crashes, police said they mapped data to identify seven areas of the city to concentrate their efforts.
While there is a focus on known offenders in those zones, Deputy Chief Kyle Dishko was quick to credit the relationship building arm of the operation. Officers have tried to speak with residents and civic groups to build trust. Dishko said one of those contacts resulted in a report from a resident about a stray bullet, that led investigators to a search warrant and a seizure of guns and drugs from a neighboring apartment.READ MORE: Parker County Sheriff's Bust Multi-State Scam, Arrest Seventy 18 Construction Owner Richard Wortham
“These are people in our communities carrying guns illegally, selling narcotics, and they’re out there committing felony crimes,” he said.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been partnering with Arlington on the effort, pursuing federal charges against suspects in some cases.
Jones, who took over in Arlington in November, described the number of juvenile officers are finding with guns as one of the biggest challenges so far to reducing crime.MORE NEWS: 'More Protections Needed In Schools', Director Of Teacher's Union Concerned About Delta Variant
“We have to find a way, how do we interrupt that flow of guns,” he said. “Especially, how do we get these guns out of the hands of minors.”