Several agencies joined forces to combat violence on the east side under Operation Triple Beam.
"Our goal and objective is to reduce crime and make it a safer city and make it a safer community for all of us,” SAPD Emergency Operations Commander Patrick Murnin said.
The U.S. Marshals Service Lone Star Fugitive Task Force led the operation to crack down on gang activity with the help of several agencies.
Melesio Hernandez, U.S. Marshall for Western District of Texas, says that they started the task force to respond to the latest surge in east-side crime.
He calls the gang activity, drugs, and firearms in the community the perfect recipe for disaster.
Over the 90 day operation, which started on September 15, 2017 and wrapped up on December 15, 2017, officers targeted fugitives and high profile criminals.
Many residents say that they didn’t know about the operation because officers kept it under wraps, but Brian Dillard, vice president of the Dignowity Hill Neighborhood Association, says he heard rumors and witnessed a drop in violence.
“We were excited. We started seeing the joint forces take action over there the past few months,” Dillard said.
He says he also witnessed a number of big gang players get arrested.
During the operation, officers arrested 215 criminals, 40 were federal fugitives. They seized more than $176,000 in drugs, another $233,000 in cash, and confiscated more than 70 firearms off the streets.
"We put a significant dent in the criminal operations," Murnin said.
Dillard hopes that the success of the operation will develop into a partnership between residents and officers to continue to tackle the violence
He says he would like to see the officers get out of their vehicles and engage with community members.
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