Operation Zero Tolerance

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Operation Zero Tolerance is a Birmingham Police Department campaign initiated by Chief A. C. Roper on January 17, 2008. It is a spin-off from Operation Taking It to the Streets, conducted periodically since 2006 by officers from the department's vice and narcotics unit. The newer program also involves officers from the detective, patrol and tactical units. The strategy is intended to give the police a more visible presence and to uncover felony violations by cracking down on more minor criminal activity.

The first major sweep was conducted over 88 hours during 11 days between January 17 and January 30, 2008. As many as 50 officers saturated a target precinct for two to four days making arrests. In total, police made 679 arrests, of which 148 were for felony charges. In addition, 402 citations were issued, 21 guns siezed, and 114 vehicles towed.

A second city-wide sweep took place on February 15-16 and 21-22 during which 163 arrests were made, of which 40 were for felonies. Of the felony charges, more than half were for unlawful possession of a controlled substance. Over half of the misdemeanor arrests were for "fine forfeiture" or "payment writ". In addition to the arrests officers seized 15 weapons, issued 95 citations and towed 33 vehicles.

Later sweeps were typically held over the course of a single day and focussed on a particular precinct. Noting a sharp reduction in trauma cases being dispatched through Birmingham Regional Emergency Medical Services System in the spring of 2008, executive director Joe Acker credited Birmingham's policing for reducing violent activity on the streets. The operation will continue periodically as needed to suppress open criminal activity on the streets.

Sweeps

2007

  • January 17-30 (city wide): 679 arrests (148 felonies), 402 citations, 21 guns seized, 114 vehicles towed
  • February 15-16 & 22 (city wide): 163 arrests (40 felonies), 95 citations, 15 guns seized, 33 vehicles towed
  • March 13 (North Precinct): 51 arrests (17 felonies), 45 citations, 1 gun seized, 9 vehicles towed
  • March 19 (South Precinct): 42 arrests (10 felonies), 17 citations, 3 guns seized, 15 vehicles towed
  • March 28 (East Precinct): 47 arrests (15 felonies), 28 citations
  • April 1: (West Precinct): 94 arrests (27 felonies), 55 citations, 6 guns seized, 28 vehicles towed
  • April 16: (West Precinct): 66 arrests (23 felonies), 52 citations, 4 guns seized, 17 vehicles towed.
  • April 17: (North Precinct): 52 arrests (7 felonies), 22 citations, 1 gun seized and 10 vehicles towed.
  • April 20: 41 arrests (10 felonies), 1 gun seized, 1 truck towed and $6,500 confiscated.
  • May 8: (East Precinct): 38 arrests (14 felonies), 20 citations, 1 gun seized, 7 vehicles towed.
  • May 28: (North Precinct): 59 arrests (11 felonies), 102 citations, 3 guns seized, 10 vehicles towed.
  • June 18: (South Precinct): 39 arrests (13 felonies), 9 citations, 5 guns seized, 12 vehicles towed.
  • September 19: (East & South Precincts): 36 arrests, 17 citations, 1 gun seized, 6 vehicles towed.
  • October 20: (East & South Precincts): 34 arrests (9 felonies), 19 citations, 3 guns seized, 4 vehicles towed.
  • November 6: (East Precinct): 37 arrests (9 felonies), 40 citations, 5 guns seized, 5 vehicles towed.
  • Totals: 1387 arrests (353 felonies), 923 citations, 69 guns seized, 270 vehicles towed

References

  • Robinson, Carol (February 1, 2008) "Birmingham police arrest hundreds in crusade to thwart criminals." Birmingham News
  • Robinson, Carol (February 25, 2008) "Birmingham police arrest 163 in Operation Zero Tolerance, a series of ongoing street sweeps aimed at curbing crime." Birmingham News
  • Robinson, Carol (March 14, 2008) "Birmingham police, others make 51 more arrests in street sweep." Birmingham News
  • Robinson, Carol (March 16, 2008) "Number of Birmingham-area trauma patients drops sharply as police sweeps rise." Birmingham News
  • Robinson, Carol (March 20, 2008) "42 arrested in latest Birmingham street sweeps." Birmingham News
  • Gray, Jeremy (March 31, 2008) "Latest Zero Tolerance tallies released." Birmingham News
  • Robinson, Carol (April 3, 2008) "Police, U.S. agents arrest nearly 100 in westside crime sweep." Birmingham News
  • Norris, Toraine (April 17, 2008) "Birmingham police conduct latest Zero Tolerance sweep, targeting city's west side." Birmingham News
  • Robinson, Carol (April 18, 2008) "Birmingham police arrest 52 in most recent sweep." Birmingham News
  • Archibald, John (April 22, 2008) "Sweeps net more than perp count." Birmingham News
  • Robinson, Carol (May 9, 2008) "Birmingham street sweep nets almost 40 arrests." Birmingham News
  • Norris, Toraine (September 19, 2008) "36 arrested in Zero Tolerance sweep." Birmingham News
  • Robinson, Carol (November 7, 2008) "Latest Birmingham Zero Tolerance yields 37 arrests." Birmingham News