COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Guns, drugs, and even junk cars are off the streets in some south Columbus neighborhoods, thanks to “Operation Unity.”
Operation Unity is a collaboration between law enforcement and social services, designed to address not only violent offenders, but quality of life issues as well.
“Operation Unity really allows us to go on offense in a very targeted, specific way based on intelligence, good information, community feedback and engagement involvement,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther.
Areas that were focused on included Hungarian Village, Vassor Village, Deshler Park, South Side, Southern Orchards, Old Oaks, Livingston Park, Olde Towne East, and other areas within Zone 5. Operation Unity concluded on Aug. 31.
In this most recent sting, the Columbus Division of Police recovered five firearms.
“One less gun could equal one less person being a victim of a crime,” said Chief of Police Elaine Bryant.
Police were also able to make 14 felony arrests.
“Some of the violent offenses that we were able to address were rapes, domestic violence, felonious assault, robberies, things of that nature,” Bryant said.
CPD collaborated with criminal intelligence units, major crime detectives, SWAT, drug crimes units, traffic operations units, and other local and statewide partners, which resulted in the following:
- 14 felony arrests
- 48 arrest warrants served
- Five firearms recovered
- Two stolen vehicles recovered
- 87 grams of marijuana seized
- 26 grams of crack cocaine seized
- One gram of cocaine seized
- 17 ecstasy pills seized
- 157 traffic stops
- 148 traffic citations issued
- 73 driving without a license
- Three operating a vehicle under the influence
A citywide “Junk Car Blitz” also took place where 198 vehicles were impounded across the city, 47 of those were from Zone 5.
“Our neighborhoods are not dumping grounds and for people to abandon vehicles, not only are they targets for vandalism and other illegal activity, they reduce the quality of life and make worse the quality of life for neighborhoods throughout the city. It’s a great way for us to fight blight and crime at the same time,” Ginther said.
Previous Operation Unity periods this year focused on the Whitehall area and the Linden, Clintonville, and University District neighborhoods. If you would like to report any violent crime, or anything causing blight in your neighborhood, you’re encouraged to call 311.