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The Akron Police Department has joined forces with numerous entities to significantly crackdown on, and deter, violent crimes in the area.

The on-going collaboration of The Akron Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Summit County Drug Unit, the METRO Swat Team, the Safe Streets Task Force, and the U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive Task Force, has blind-sided Akron area criminals.

These local and federal agencies are coordinating their efforts to significantly reduce violent crimes in Akron by identifying and eliminating the criminal element, pulling guns off the streets, and diminishing illegal drug distribution. The City will continue partnering with these agencies in order to ramp up its street enforcement, drug busts, raids, and on-going investigations.

Last week, in a three-day marathon of targeted policing, SWAT teams from the Akron Police Department, Summit County Sheriff’s Office, FBI, and Metro SWAT worked in tandem to execute numerous search warrants.

Officers and agents from local and federal agencies hit the streets of Akron and brought in 32 suspects, 323.9 grams of crack, 40 grams of heroin, and 1,632.7 grams of marijuana. Also recovered in this extraordinary show of force were 27 guns and $23,608 in cash.

Pending against the 32 suspects are 87 felony charges and 25 misdemeanor charges.

“Because of the massive collaborations and the inclusion of federal agencies, no longer will we be satisfied with a conviction on a state level, if federal charges can be pursued,” said Mayor Don Plusquellic. “We want the public to know that Akron will not handle these criminals with kid gloves. Instead, we will pursuing the strongest charges possible using the authority of the highest agencies in our country. A conviction on federal charges will result in hard time in federal penitentiaries.”

At about the same time as the multiple raids, 40 law enforcement officers and agents walked the streets in the Copley Road area of West Akron to talk to residents about the recent shootings in their neighborhood.

APD teamed up with the FBI’s Akron Resident Agency to acquire information about the violence and to distribute a resource flyer that contained “who to call” information. These officers and agents visited over 250 residences and businesses in the area and received information on various criminal activities. Those who were not at home received the flyer on their door. This effort has produced numerous tips and leads that are being pursued.

Not only is Akron beefing up its enforcement in Akron’s “hot spots”, but Akron’s narcotic’s team is on its way to tripling its number of meth lab take downs from its high last year of 77. There is no question that Akron has one of the best narcotic’s team in Ohio. Akron’s highly trained and aggressive narcotics unit has busted up an unprecedented 70 meth labs so far this year.

“Our narcotics officers assigned to investigate meth labs were recently featured in Cleveland’s Scene magazine for their exemplary work,” noted Akron Police Chief James Nice. “But just because we take down numerous meth labs does not mean that we have more meth labs than any other city, the difference is our narcotic agents are finding and catching more — They are the best in the State at what they do, they are better trained and very aggressive in their pursuit to halt meth production.”

Article Courtesy of WOIO 19 Action News