Phoenix police partner with county, federal agencies to fight gun crime

Jun 23, 2022, 4:35 AM

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams discusses the details of Operation Gun Crime Crackdown. (KTAR Ne...

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams discusses the details of Operation Gun Crime Crackdown. (KTAR News Photo/ Luke Forstner)

(KTAR News Photo/ Luke Forstner)

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Police Department is partnering with county and federal agencies to combat gun violence as part of a new program called Operation Gun Crime Crackdown.

“As I testified before Congress last week in Washington D.C., we must do something to protect our children – and my officers – from gun violence,” Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said at the announcement of the program on Wednesday.

The answer they’ve developed will strengthen ties between the Phoenix Police Department and agencies involved in tracing and prosecuting gun crimes.

This includes things like sending detectives to parts of Phoenix with high rates of gun crime, working with federal partners like the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to process evidence, as well as communicating with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and U.S. Attorney’s Office on prosecution.

Williams said building these relationships will be beneficial.

“Phoenix police officers can go out and make an arrest,” she explained, “But it’s really the tracking of the gun and the ballistics, [it’s] the prosecution and if we can have federal charges… having all those pieces come together is a force multiplier.”

She acknowledged this is especially important as the Phoenix Police Department deals with staffing shortages.

Williams also stressed that the community is a necessary part of Operation Gun Crime Crackdown.

“Too many times, our communities have become immune to hearing gunfire in their neighborhoods and don’t do anything,” she said. “If you hear gunfire in your neighborhood, we need you to call 911.”

With all the measures being taken, Williams also stressed the program is about getting guns out of the hands of criminals, not taking guns from everyday citizens.

Interim Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell explained how her office will play a part in the initiative.

“I have dedicated resources to ensure violent offenders who are arrested receive appropriate release conditions,” she said. “To ensure those who threaten public safety are held accountable by courts.”

Some cases may be referred to the U.S. Attorney – who is also supporting the program – if federal charges are a possibility.

Mitchell believes smart, targeted enforcement will keep the community safer.

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego agrees and said Operation Gun Crime Crackdown solidifies fighting gun violence as a top priority for the city.

“We want you to be able to drop your kids off at school and not feel scared or afraid,” Gallego said. “We want you to know that this community is doing everything we can to keep our kids and families safe.”

Operation Gun Crime Crackdown will launch on July 5.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

One teenage woman died after a shooting at an apartment complex in South Phoenix Wednesday night, a...

16-year-old girl dead after allegedly trying to rob couple in south Phoenix

A teenage girl died after allegedly trying to rob a couple at gunpoint at an apartment complex in south Phoenix Wednesday night.

6 hours ago

An alleged fugitive was killed by U.S. Marshals on Thursday, authorities confirmed. (ABC15 helicopt...

Alleged fugitive dead after shooting involving US Marshals in Tempe

An alleged fugitive was shot and killed in Tempe by the U.S. Marshals East Valley Task Force, authorities confirmed Thursday.

6 hours ago

(Facebook Photo/Tempe Marketplace)...

Tempe Marketplace announces 4 new tenants, including Sam’s Club

Tempe Marketplace announced it is adding four new tenants, including Sam's Club, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Happy Beauty, and Enclave Salon Suites.

7 hours ago

Arizona Indian water settlement agreement...

Serena O'Sullivan

Leaders of 3 Arizona tribes sign water rights settlement agreement

The Northeastern Arizona Indian Water Settlement Agreement was signed on Wednesday, according to the Hopi Tribe.

11 hours ago

Eastbound lanes of Interstate 10 closed in Phoenix due to vehicle fire...

Eastbound lanes of Interstate 10 partially reopen in Phoenix after fire

The eastbound lanes of Interstate 10 partially reopened in Phoenix on Thursday afternoon, authorities said.

13 hours ago

Jeff Flake, seen in a Senate hallway in a 2020 file photo, reportedly is stepping down from his rol...

Kevin Stone

Arizona Republican Jeff Flake reportedly stepping down as US ambassador to Turkey

Jeff Flake, a former U.S. senator from Arizona, reportedly is stepping down from his role as ambassador to Turkey after three years.

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

Phoenix police partner with county, federal agencies to fight gun crime