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Published: Friday, 9/13/2013

Lagrange-area patrols net 200 arrests, 2 guns

9-day coverage aims to knock back crime


A nine-day special policing operation netted 200 arrests and two guns.

The round-the-clock “targeted enforcement operation” along the Lagrange Street corridor started Aug. 29 and ended Saturday morning.

Three specific areas were the focus of the operation, said police Sgt. Joe Heffernan. Officers saturated an area bounded by Manhattan Boulevard, Chestnut Street, and Central and Franklin avenues; another bounded by Mettler, Mulberry, Bancroft, and Walnut streets; and a third by Champlain, Bush, North Summit, and Walnut streets.

The areas were chosen by looking for hot spots in crime data, Sergeant Heffernan said, but it's too soon to know if the enforcement had an impact on the amount of crime in the targeted areas.

The department had a similar enforcement effort in East Toledo in March. At the time, residents said they noticed an increased police presence and were happy to see more officers in their neighborhood.

“It did seem to make a difference,” Sergeant Heffernan said Wednesday about the east side effort. “This is a continual thing. The goal is not to hit it hard for nine days and think you're going to solve all the crime in the neighborhood.

“If we have a flare up of criminal events in a particular area, we're going to hit that area and hit it hard, try to knock it back,” the sergeant said.

During the Lagrange enforcement, officers made 37 felony arrests, filed 377 misdemeanor charges, issued 299 traffic citations and 68 parking tags, found one truant student, two curfew violations, made 25 drug arrests, and made nine referrals to different city departments.

Four drug-related search warrants were also executed.

“If you find that you've got hot spots with a variety of criminal events happening in a small or confined area, saturation patrols and enforcement is a very effective way to knock it back,” Sergeant Heffernan said. “Is it a permanent solution? No, but it does knock it back and the goal is to stabilize that area.”

Contact Taylor Dungjen at tdungjen@theblade.com, or 419-724-6054, or on Twitter @taylordungjen.

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