Saturday, June 16, 2007

Baghdad U.S.A.

Police crack down on 8 Mile

Norman Sinclair / The Detroit News

21 agencies from across area team up in effort to rid communities of drugs, prostitution, other crimes.

DETROIT -- Officers from 21 agencies today are wrapping up Operation Eight Mile, a three-day crackdown on drugs, prostitution and other crimes in communities bordering the Eight Mile corridor from Harper Woods to Farmington Hills.

The effort netted 67 arrests for offenses ranging from drugs to parole violations between 2-10 p.m. Tuesday, the first day. Traffic officers wrote 512 tickets, made 24 arrests and impounded 19 cars. The action continues until 10 tonight.

"I see Operation Eight Mile as an opportunity to get the police and community together to make the area safer," said Wayne County Sheriff Warren Evans, whose department coordinated the effort.

"A safe and vibrant Eight Mile corridor is critical to the region as well as to the image and perception of the area people have around the country."

Other departments include Macomb and Oakland Sheriff's departments; Detroit and State Police; officers from Harper Woods, Eastpointe, the five Grosse Pointe departments, Warren, Roseville, Hazel Park, Ferndale, Oak Park, Southfield, Livonia, Redford and Farmington Hills; prosecutors from the three counties; agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; the U.S Marshal; the state Department of Corrections; and National Guard also are in the task force.

Evans said he realizes the impressive show of police and hardware during the three-day crackdown, including tanks and helicopters, will not end crime in the area.

"When you hit it that hard for a few days you get a residual drop off in crime and that's a benefit before there is any build up again," he said.

For example, police made arrests at a house on the Detroit side of Eight Mile using information picked up in Eastpointe and Roseville. With an undercover officer posing as a dealer, officers ticketed 45 people who were attempting to buy drugs there and seized 22 cars.

Macomb County Sheriff Mark A. Hackel said the public will see more of these collaborative police efforts in the future.

"Instead of just doing it one week out of the year, you are going to see it on a more continuous basis throughout the year," Hackel said.

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