Less than three weeks into the new year and the Buffalo Police Department has already issued more than 50 arrest warrants during a two-day drug raid. YNN's Meg Rossman has more on Operation Restoration and how city residents played a role.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — "We're trying to restore each of those neighborhoods to their former vibrancy," Buffalo Police Chief of Detectives Dennis Richards said Wednesday.
Buffalo Police took their first steps toward doing so this new year with Operation Restoration, which resulted in 54 raids, 44 arrests, and the confiscation of thousands in cash and drugs.
"Six guns were confiscated, over $13,000 cash and various amounts of heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and different pills," Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said.
According to Mayor Byron Brown, they were all rounded up by Buffalo Police and other law enforcement agencies in the city-wide sweep Monday and Tuesday.
'It sends a continuing strong message that we will not tolerate crime," he said.
And it seems residents hold that same zero tolerance policy – all of the raids were the result of tips from city residents.
"These were people's 311 calls, these were people to the tip line, these are citizen’s calls," Brown explained.
In fact, arrest warrants have more than quadrupled in the past eight years.
"I go back to 2005, the Buffalo Police Department executed just over 100 search warrants for the whole year,” Derenda said. “We're in that 700 to 1,000 range per year because we're taking this activity very seriously."
And he doesn’t plan to let up anytime soon.
"You will see more to come. Our efforts will intensify in the coming days, weeks and months ahead. Buffalo is a safe place; we want to make it safer."