Yesterday, area law enforcement agencies arrested 19 people during a county-wide sweep targeting individuals that have outstanding warrants.

Both the City of Urbana and the City of Champaign have experienced shootings and/or homicides and police officers are responding to reports of shots heard, or encountering individuals in possession of firearms with increasing frequency. In addition, a substantial number of criminals within the area are currently wanted by local police departments and/or have outstanding arrest warrants. This is problematic for our communities, as these individuals often continue to commit crime and victimize residents in our communities.

To combat this problem, the Champaign Police Department; in cooperation with the United States Marshal’s Service, organized a proactive detail targeting violent felons and/or individuals wanted on outstanding arrest warrants throughout the Champaign County area; particularly those areas that local departments have identified as “hot spots” for violent crime and/or calls for service.

During the operation, 18 arrests were made by the officers participating in the sweeps detail. The 19th arrest was made in the 100 block of Bellefontaine Street, an area in which police had received multiple reports of shots being heard or fired. Officers responded to a report of an armed subject and a Champaign Police Sergeant, assisted by an officer(s) participating in the sweeps detail; arrested a subject in the area and recovered a handgun from the subject. Some of the arrestees had multiple warrants, and others arrestees had additional charges filed against them for offenses such as traffic, armed robbery, and drug offenses and stolen vehicle (juvenile). One arrestee was a fugitive from justice from Hillsborough County, Florida.

Additional responses to violent crimes have consisted of deploying more officers to these areas of the city and partnering with members of the Champaign Community Coalition to organize community walks.

“Assuring that we have a safe community is a top priority for us,” says Chief Anthony Cobb. Due to the recent acts of gun violence, this joint effort was necessary for us to fully support the needs of residents living in these areas,” he added.

The Champaign Police Department would like to thank representatives from the following agencies who participated in the joint operation: Champaign County Sheriff’s Office, Champaign Police Department, Champaign County Probation Services, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Illinois State Police, United States Marshal’s Service, University of Illinois Police and the Urbana Police Department.