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31 felons, 20 guns off the streets in police op
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One of the initiatives by the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department to address recent crime created 35 arrests and recovered nine weapons this weekend.

The Violent Crime Task Force conducted 15 felony arrests, another 20 for misdemeanors and issued 75 traffic citations.

"Combined with a 10-day operation in October, the Task Force now has conducted 31 felony arrests, 47 misdemeanor arrests and 124 traffic citations and recovered 20 firearms as well as a stolen vehicle. Officers also stopped and interviewed 249 individuals," a police spokesperson says.

Six of the 20 weapons recovered were identified as stolen. The task force also participated in a search for a suspect after a crash on Montgomery Cross Road Friday night that led to the recovery of three additional weapons.

The objective of the task force, led by Southside Precinct Lt. Ashley Brown, "is to augment regular patrols in areas where criminal activity has increased or where analysts predict it might increase. Officers in both marked patrol cars and unmarked undercover cars are deployed. It is one of a host of initiatives recently begun by the department, along with Code Blue and the Quick Reaction Task Force, as well as others."

“Experience tells us that people involved in violent crimes usually participate in a myriad of offenses and will continue their acts of violence until arrested,” said Police Chief Joseph H. Lumpkin Sr. “We can best protect our community by getting criminals off the streets, hopefully before their second, third and fourth crimes are committed. I am proud of the way this unit has approached this mission. With the assistance of the public, we can prevent crime.”

The unit will continue to patrol on specific nights during the holiday shopping season where crime traditionally increases.

“These officers have identified specific individuals and certain locations on which to focus in search of violent offenders,” said Maj. Richard Zapal, Patrol North Commander. “They are using intelligence-led policing tactics to direct their efforts. So far, we are impressed with the results.”

The task force has made seven arrests for possession of cocaine, five for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and five on outstanding felony warrants (one suspect had nine warrants for possession of cocaine and one was a shooting suspect.) Four were arrested for possession of marijuana, three for fleeing to elude police, and one each for possession of methamphetamine, possession of heroin, possession of prescription pills, felony probation violation, felony obstruction, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and theft by receiving stolen property (firearm.)