YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – When 10-year-old Persayus Davis-May was killed during gun violence on Aug. 18, the city of Youngstown decided to turn up the heat. It started the Impact Initiative to make a difference and today, we looked into how it has been working.
The first sign that the saturation patrols had started was seeing an Ohio State Highway Patrol helicopter in the sky on Sept. 10. It provided an extra set of eyes and support to law enforcement on the ground.
“Either lost the suspects or we called off the pursuit. The helicopter is able to continue to follow that suspect person or suspect vehicle. Almost always resulted in an apprehension that we might not have had otherwise,” said Youngstown Police Captain Jason Simon.
The initiative led to 17 arrests on the first two days and seven people facing felony drug charges. A dozen guns have been recovered and drugs have been seized.
The patrols are using intelligence from detectives and people in the community to be in the right places at the right time.
“Our crime analyst does a wonderful job giving us that data and really what the community says where they feel that they need us. We’re going to be there helping them out,” Simon said.
Police are quick to point out that this is an initiative, which they hope leads to long-term change. The extra agencies involved augment city police. There’s power in numbers.
“From a community standpoint, we’ve gotten very positive feedback that they’re seeing this cooperative effort in their neighborhoods where it seems to be needed the most,” Simon said. “Let’s face it, the community wants to see more officers on the street.”
On the first two days, the saturation patrols had 124 traffic stops, 105 of which led to no arrests, no tickets and no citations.
You can provide information about crime by calling Crime Stoppers at 330-746-CLUE (2583) or calling the Youngstown Police Department.