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: North Texas Looks At High-Speed Rail Between Dallas And Fort Worth
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: 'I Feel Like I'm Doing Something That Actually Matters' Says North Texas Mom Who Became Truck Driver Amid Nationwide Shortage
“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: Small North Texas Businesses Facing Price Increases And Missing Product Due To Supply Chain Issues
“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.”