MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Mobile Police say enough is enough.
On Wednesday, Police Chief Micheal T. Williams, along with Mobile Mayor Sam Jones, rolled out plans for a new program aimed at cracking down on illegal guns and drugs.
It's called operation "I.M.P.A.C.T" which stands for Integrated Municipal Police Anti-Crime Team.
Taking their message straight to the streets in the hopes that they are heard loud and clear, Police swarmed the R.V. Taylor Housing Community.
"If you are a person who rides around with a gun in your car, beware, because we are looking for you. If you sell drugs or use drugs we are going to do our best to incarcerate you," said Williams.
Operation I.M.P.A.C.T. will combine multiple divisions of the department including narcotics, intelligence and the jaguar unit to rid the streets of illegal guns and drugs, according to Williams.
Williams said areas with high crime will be targeted first, along with repeat offenders.
Not everyone in the RV Taylor community thought the program was needed, or would work.
Kimberly Wallace believes in it.
Wallace says she knows the feeling of being on the wrong end of a gun.
"Once you have a gun in your hand, no telling how fast it can go off," said Wallace. "The police can't get there that fast, and you could die. So, I think it is a good thing to get the guns off the streets."
Mobile Mayor Sam Jones pledged his support for the program.
Jones is no stranger to crime. He's had to use a gun before to stop an intruder in his own home.
Jones said the program isn't about taking guns out of the hands of citizens who have them legally. Instead, he says, the people who are committing crimes using guns are the police department's targets in this program.
"We want to take that off the streets," said Jones.
Jones said teen gun violence is a big problem and that finding out how kids are getting hold of guns when it is illegal for them to buy them is a priority.
Jimmy Bell appreciates the efforts.
"I got two young sons that come up through that. Thank the Lord, they are going good. Teens today got a test," said Bell.
Operation IMPACT consists of four phases: a street sweep, gun buyback program, CrimeStoppers phase and a public awareness campaign.
- Phase One: Intense street sweeps identifying problem areas and violent hotspots, utilizing the combined efforts of the Narcotics Unit, Intelligence Unit, MCSENT, Jaguar Unit and Tactical Response Unit, creating an increased police presence around these areas, residences and businesses.
- Phase Two: Gun Buyback Program coordinated by the Community Services Unit, including drop-off sites where working firearms are exchanged for gifts cards from local businesses supporting the program.
- Phase Three: Crime Stoppers Weapons Watch Line where citizens can call or text information which, if leading to arrest(s) of crimes involving guns or drugs, will result in a $100 reward.
- Phase Four: A public awareness campaign to keep the citizens of Mobile up-to-date on the results of Operation I.M.P.A.C.T.
Citizens can call (251) 208-7000 or text to CRIMES (274637) and include the key word "CRIME 411" to report guns, drugs and criminal activity.
What else would you suggest to combat the crime problem in Mobile?
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