Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson is taking his anti-gun, anti-drug crime battle into neighborhoods, and he wants residents to know that the fight will get ugly, says the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Jackson plans to unleash aggressive police officers with a mission of taking guns from the streets to reduce the city’s rising homicide rate. Jackson warned that the ramped-up efforts could cause more confrontations between police officers and criminals. Until now, local crime-fighting has been stemming the supply of illegal drugs. Large-scale investigations by federal agents and police have dismantled several drug-dealing gangs, and police say drugs have become harder to find.
Now, officers trained to spot people carrying weapons will team up with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Teams will go after people suspected of illegally carrying guns. Suspects with felony records might be prosecuted in federal court, which typically results in longer prison sentences. The mayor hopes criminals quickly get the message that police have zeroed in on guns, resulting in people leaving their weapons at home or in their cars. That would cut the chances of spontaneous shootings and reduce the murder total.