A 5 1/2-week sweep of Orlando neighborhoods racked by violence netted nearly 500 arrests, reports the Orlando Sentinel. Operation Felony Focus is part of a police department response to the record 38 murders in the city in 2006. The operation also resulted in the seizure of 27 handguns, more than $19,000 in cash, 1 1/2 pounds of cocaine, and nearly 22 pounds of marijuana. “We went 33 or 34 days without a homicide in the city,” Orlando police Chief Mike McCoy said. “We’re getting a lot of guns off the street and hoping the summer coming to an end and the increased [police] attention has had some impact on the streets. But we’re going to keep up the pressure.”
The sweep followed an earlier crackdown, Operation Restore. Another program, using three new roving tactical squads of officers to focus on problem areas, begins Sunday. The initiatives are in response to the unprecedented number of murders in Orlando — 38 this year, already nearly double last year’s total of 22. Orlando is re-engineering its Police Department and its 700 officers to target violent street criminals and drug dealers.