When it comes to curbing gun violence in the Tuscaloosa area, it takes a village.
The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives led an operation over the past two months focused on gun violence. They worked alongside seven other state and local agencies including three Tuscaloosa-area police departments and the county sheriff’s office.
Yesterday, the group announced they filed federal charges against 38 defendants and had taken more than 40 firearms off the streets of Tuscaloosa.
U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town says the majority of these defendants had at least 3 prior felony convictions; some had more than 10.
“Think of the manpower, the resources, the human capital, the financial capital that has gone into prosecuting these individuals, to arrest them over 400 times, to prosecute them over 120 times – those are just for the felonies – and they’re still walking on the streets among us.”
Town says this operation was geared toward getting violent, career criminals off the streets and into prison.
Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steven D. Anderson says he’s delighted with the results of the operation.
“We do have a problem with gun violence in the city of Tuscaloosa. So whenever we can get bad guys off the street and get guns off the street, that’s a great thing for us. It helps reduce the fear of crime in our city, and it cuts down on the shootings and the issues that we deal with on a day-to-day basis.”
Chief Anderson says this exemplifies the bond between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.
The roundup is part of Operation Focused Remedy, a statewide effort that has also seen similar collaborations in Selma and on the Gulf Coast.