WASHINGTON - Every day in January, as many as 125 extra Prince George's County police officers are hitting the streets in targeted areas, and Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agents are going with them.
"We're really looking for guns and associated violence," says Maj. Pete Eliadis, commander of the department's Special Operations Division.
The officers and agents are fanning out in places like Lewisdale, Carmody Hills and Glassmanor.
Eliadis says in just the first few days of the crime-fighting operation, more than half a dozen weapons were seized, and more than 30 arrests were made.
It was on that very first day, Jan. 1, when officers searched an apartment in Suitland and found weapons, ammunition and marijuana.
Eliadis says county officers are also out to talk with residents. He says most of their arrests are the result of obtaining tips from people.
"You're talking to these people, getting information, finding out what's going on," he says. "You're getting feedback from the citizens, and with that feedback we're collectively using our resources to make arrests."
Thursday night, just as some of the extra officers gathered for roll call in a parking lot at Route 4 and Silver Hill Road in Forestville, they smelled what they believed to be marijuana coming from a car driving right past them.
The driver and passenger were asked to get out of the car, and the vehicle was searched.
Police say the search turned up marijuana, and at last check, charges are pending. Prince George's County police conducted the same month-long operation last January, and Eliadis says it was a success.
"With this directed enforcement in the areas that we've selected, I think you'll see a greater reduction in crime than we did last year," he says.
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