Crime sweep targets Northside offenders

Posted at 6:26 PM, Jun 22, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-22 23:52:57-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Police from local, state and federal agencies swarmed Richmond's Northside neighborhood Friday looking for violent offenders.

"This is our first time in the Northside and what we're telling the community is that we're investing here,” said Richmond’s Deputy Chief John Burtula.

It's all part of Richmond's Crime sweep targeting areas where drugs are easy to get and violent crimes have taken place.

That is something residents will tell you first hand.

"Indirectly, it's concerning the economy because I feel that a lot of the young people as well as the older people don't have anything to do," said Lawrence Taylor.

According to police, crime has dropped 50 percent thanks to sweeps in these neighborhoods because area law enforcement officials are serving warrants and catching people violating their probation.

"When we've done operations in first precinct area,” said Burtula. “We've seen a dramatic reduction in violent crime in what was a substantially violent area has turned the tide for us."

CBS 6 News' Sandra Jones asked Richmond's Deputy Chief when police swoop in, do criminals take their business some place else.

“That's the beauty of having 13 agencies because everybody contributes personnel," said Burta. "All of those agencies come together on a periodic basis. So, there’s no real drain on any one individual resource.”

However, for neighbors watching the action here, they say anything to combat crime makes them feel safe.

"It was violent for a long time. But I believe and hope it will be getting better,” said Daniel Yu.

Burtula said for March, April and May, Richmond’s Crime sweep focused on high-intensity drug trafficking areas in the Creighton and Fairfield neighborhoods.

That effort resulted in 21 arrests, 13 felonies and 8 misdemeanors, served seven search warrants, seized three guns and $3,545.