During the 3-month Operation Whiplash initiative this summer, Atlanta police officers seized 12 guns compared to 10 seized in the same period last year and arrested 27 people for narcotics violations compared to 8 arrests last year in the target areas, according to a news release from the department.
Officers investigated 88 aggravated assaults with a weapon, which included 76 handguns, 10 rifles, one shotgun and one baseball bat. As part of their investigation, officers arrested or issued warrants for 17 people they believe were involved in the assaults.
Towards the end of the operation, there was a slight downward trend in non-fatal shootings in the target areas, according to the news release.
The APD rolled out Operation Whiplash on June 1 after increased violence in zones 1 and 3, using about 45 officers to patrol targeted areas and focus on gun-related crimes. An additional 20 officers helped gather intelligence and address community concerns. Zone 1 covers the midwest part of Atlanta, while Zone 3 is in the southeast part of Atlanta. The operation ended on August 31, but a city-wide Gun Violence Reduction Task Force formed as part of that initiative will continue.
After Mayor Kasim Reed announced the initiative in late June, some groups involved with the Black Lives Matter movement criticized the operation. The city should use the money in crime prevention programs rather than doing more community policing, they said.
The police department used normal operational funds for Operation Whiplash, but allocated them to a focused area and task, according to Elizabeth Espy, spokesperson for APD.
Here are the statistics for Operation Whiplash provided by APD:
Accidental shooting – 12 Cases
Domestic – 1 Case
Robbery – 19 Cases
Dispute – 40 Cases
Unknown – 6 Cases
Drugs – 5 Cases
Shot by Victim – 1 Case
Gang – 1 Case
Non – Criminal – 1 Case
Unintended Victim – 2 Cases
Victims of Aggravated Assaults involving firearms:
86 were Male, 11 were Female
Average age was approximately 30 years old
Ages ranged from 5 years old to 70 years old
There were approximately 100 individuals alleged to be involved in the 88 Aggravated Assaults:
55 Males were the alleged suspect
5 Females were the alleged suspect
28 Unknown suspects
Of the 88 cases that were assigned the Gun Reduction Task Force made arrests or took out warrants for 17 individuals.
The average age of these individuals was approximately 23 years old
8 Males were arrested
8 Males had warrants taken out for their arrest
1 Female was arrested
The following firearms were used during the 88 Aggravated Assaults involving a firearm:
1 Baseball Bat
Number of warrants up from 6 to 10
Number of arrests up from 238 percent (8 vs 27)
Gun seizures up 20 percent (10 vs 12)