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Operation Safe Streets Southside, a joint local and state law enforcement public safety initiative, led to 97 arrests on felony charges, 76 arrests on misdemeanor charges, and 35 arrests of fugitives over a 10-week period, Danville Police reported Tuesday.
From May 2 through July 25, the Danville Police Department, Virginia State Police and Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office seized 21 illegal firearms, 698 grams of illegal drugs with a combined street value of $49,276, and $15,125 in U.S. currency. Illegal drugs seized included cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, and synthetic marijuana.
“Our objective was to get illegal guns and drugs off the street and to reduce crime – specifically violent crime,” Danville Police Chief Scott Booth said at a news conference today.
Year-to-date statistics show significant declines in violent crime and burglaries as compared to the same period a year ago. The numbers reported Tuesday are as follows:
There have been six homicides this year. That number is unchanged from the same period a year ago.
“The only one that I am not happy with – even though we work at it tirelessly and will continue – is the number of homicides in our community,” Booth said. “As I have said before, even one is too much.”
Booth said crime reduction is a community effort.
“We could not do this with just the Danville Police Department,” Booth said. “It’s about partnerships, whether it is partnerships with other law enforcement agencies, with faith-based leaders, with our elected officials, or with our community members.”
The Safe Streets Southside initiative employed many strategies, including working with confidential informants, parcel interdiction, buy/bust operations, traffic stops, street-level interdiction of illegal drugs and guns, and roundup coordination.
The Virginia State Police provided troopers and assistance from its tactical and counter criminal interdiction teams, and its high tech crimes unit. Virginia Fusion Center analysts also assisted.
Additional partners in this initiative included the United States Attorney’s Office and the City of Danville Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.