Erie Mayor Joe Sinnott and Chief Randy Bowers say they are making progress with the latest efforts they announced back in May increasing patrols. Chief Bowers credits the officers in the Erie Police Department with confiscating dozens of firearms since the first of the year. They highlighted 56 alleged criminals who were arrested and charged with crimes involving a firearm during the first six months of 2014.
"We got a lot of positive feedback on heightened patrols and violent crime offenders and in neighborhoods people seem to feel more comfortable than before we announced alterations to special operations," Sinnott said.
The charges including homicide, bank robberies, aggravated assault, traffic stops, armed robberies, home invasion and shots fired investigations. Police say these gun charges have a few common denominators including drugs.
Officers recovered 105 firearms since January 1, 90 of them were handguns, seven rifles and eight shotguns. In May and June alone 58 of the 105 guns were confiscated and of the 56 arrests highlighted today 27 occurred in May and June.
Chief Bowers says during the same period of time last year the department recovered 49 handguns.