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After years without a narcotics unit, Warren has recently installed a new division to target the problem.
A Street Crimes Unit has been instituted targeting specific trouble spots.
In April, the Trumbull Ashtabula Group Law Enforcement Task Force, Warren police officers with the DEA task force and federal agents, arrested more than 100 people for drugs during an operation known as “Little D-Town.” But while the arrests had some impact, crime continued.
“We had robberies. We had shootings after that. The residents know that happened, we mean business,” said Capt. Robert Massucci. “But what happens after that is even more important and that’s what we are trying to deal with.”
To help address those problems, Warren’s new police chief, Eric Merkel, has instituted a new Street Crimes Unit.
“Right now, six officers are assigned to the Street Crimes Unit. They will handle everything from prostitution to drugs to taking guns off the streets,” said Massucci.
Massucci said utilizing the new unit will allow officers to spend more time at certain crime scenes and will allow patrol officers to go to the next call.
Members of the unit hit the streets Tuesday with the U.S. Marshals task force to catch a criminal. The call came in as a man throwing narcotics over a fence at the Trumbull County Correctional Facility.
Officers found the suspect, Carlos Jones, 21, at an apartment complex on Lodwick Avenue. He was arrested on a parole violation.
Warren 7th Ward Councilman Eddie Colbert has been pushing for this kind of unit, saying it sends a message to residents about how the city handles crime.
“We as city leaders get what the issues are and do have the means of addressing them, but also sends the message to the criminal element that you are no longer going to be comfortable within our city. We do have a unit that will come look for you,” said Colbert.