DETROIT (FOX 2) - On Wednesday, Detroit Police launched a two-day operation as part of its ramped-up efforts to reduce gun violence in the city after several high-profile shootings in the last week and made 20 felony arrests on the first day.
Interim Chief James White and members of DPD announced the first day results of Operation Restore Order on Thursday. The operation is taking place in the fifth and ninth precincts.
The death of 2-year-old Brison Christian on the freeway was labeled a case of mistaken identity but has prompted swift response from Detroit and state police to increase enforcement on state highways. However, gun violence has continued in Detroit's streets. That includes the critical shooting of a 28-year-old man Wednesday and the accidental death of a 12-year-old who found a gun in a home on Tuesday. Several organizations that specialize in gun safety have already begun handing out gun locks and offering gun safety to owners and children.
On Thursday, White said police made 20 felony arrests including a murder warrant and a carjacking suspect. Additionally, 11 guns were seized, 3 search warrants were conducted, 284 cars were investigated, and 21 cars were impounded. He also said they recovered more than $36,000 in cash and got several grams of narcotics off the street, including 13 grams of fentanyl, 37 grams of cocaine, 10 grams of methamphetamine, and 1 gram of heroin.
"A number of teams have put together information on those that are wanted in this area. those who are on parole and probation, those who have violated parole and probation, those who have outstanding felony warrants, those who are known to carry illegal weapons and victimize our community. That's what this is about," White said.
He said that officers will be back on the east side Thursday with more enforcement with the plan of keeping the city and residents safe. He said the actions are getting violent criminals off the street and what the officers are doing is constitutional.
"This is not ‘stop and frisk’. This is about getting violent felons off the street. This is constitutional policing," he said.
White said during roll call, which took place just moments before he spoke, officers were told to make sure their body cameras were worn and turned on. He said that the people being arrested are suspects like those the murder of Brison Christian and also the double-murders of two parents who were bound, gagged, and executed in their own home.
"These are the felons that shot and killed two people that got engaged - Tanya and Deondre - this is about little Brison on the freeway. This is getting those people who victimize our community, who come out here - one of the people involved as a suspect cut off his tether - we're looking for probation and parole violators. We're using search warrants which are gathered with probable cause. This is not about stop and frisk. Absolutely not," he said.
The message is clear. White said criminals need to make better decisions and the community should know that it has the full support of Detroit Police.
"If you make a better decision, then you don't have to deal with us," he said. "We support our community, our community supports us and as I indicated, we are unapologetic about keeping our community safe."
Police have said that while they can step up efforts, pushing back on gun violence will require input and support from residents as well.
Detroit Police Chief James White announces the first day's results of Operation Restore Order in Detroit.