KILLEEN, TX — Forty-eight people were arrested and 460 grams of marijuana were seized during an Project Safe Neighborhoods operation in two Killeen neighborhoods.
Project Safe Neighborhoods is a national initiative by the Department of Justice to reduce gun violence in the country. Killeen PD says the project is a partnership designed to develop, implement and evaluate date-driven violence reduction strategies in communities and improve the long-term prevention of gun violence.
The most recent PSN operation took place on February 28 and February 29. Killeen PD, along with several federal and state agencies, using crime data analytics, conducted enforcement operations in the areas of Loma Vista and Cantabrian.
Forty-eight people were arrested, with some individuals facing multiple charges.
- 21 were arrested on narcotics-related charges.
- 13 were arrested on felony charges.
Twelve guns were recovered during the operation. Eight individuals were arrested for unlawfully carrying a weapon. Four were arrested for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Six arrests warrants served included parole revocations.
In terms of narcotics. 460.2 grams of marijuana, 4.8 grams of methamphetamine, and 15 grams of MDMA (ecstacy) were recovered.
Folks in Killeen's most notorious neighborhood for crime say they like the idea of getting guns and drugs off the streets, especially near their local school, but they worry it will only give them temporary relief.
”I'm conflicted,” said Deezil Greezil, who thought he'd moved to a quiet Killeen neighborhood, until the shootings and car accidents started.
"Twenty people have gotten murdered in this neighborhood since I bought my home in 2012," he explained.
A community crime map shows the Loma Vista and Cantabrian area as a problem.
Neighbors call the bust a temporary fix at best.
"I think it'll quiet things down. It may not be permanent, but it'll quiet things down for some time," said Tyreese Martin.
Federal prosecutor Sarah Wannarka, who oversees safe streets in Texas, said, "Our office will continue to aggressively pursue individuals who are prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition."
25 News did not receive a comment from Killeen Police.
People who live here say this neighborhood has a bit of an invisible line separating this part which they call "very dangerous" from the other, which they call "slightly less dangerous".
”I tell people I live "in the good side,"” said Greezil.
As a father, he says he likes the safe neighborhood project, but worries about the message it sends when innocent folks get stopped and searched.
"It doesn't seem like they're trying to solve anything. Sounds like they're just trying to disrupt things and hope they get better," he said.
Killeen PD says the department was awarded funding as part of the initiative. Special enforcement operations will be conducted over the remainder of the year focusing on narcotics and gang involvement.