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Reinforcements called in to cut crime in Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN — Youngstown police Chief Carl Davis, citing an “increase in criminal activity and gun violence” this year, announced an initiative that brings other agencies into the city to help.

He said 23 people have been killed so far this year, and 83 people have been shot. A 10-year-old girl was shot to death in her South Side home last month.

The agencies are the Ohio State Highway Patrol; FBI; Adult Parole Authority; the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and Ohio Investigative Unit.

These agencies will add personnel to police-department efforts, Davis said.

“Today I am pleased to announce an impact initiative that will impact quality- of-life issues,” Davis said. “We will conduct aggressive saturation patrols. Officers will focus on areas determined by the Youngstown Police Department that have experienced elevated levels of crime related to narcotics, gun violence

and other forms of criminal activity.”

Traffic stops will play a role in interrupting illegal activity, he said.

Capt. Jason Simon framed the new initiative by pointing out that the country is now fighting two pandemics — COVID-19 and crime.

The “second pandemic being faced by our city and nation is an increase in violent crime — homicides and a proliferation of firearms in the hands of those who have no business possessing them,” he said.

“Like COVID-19, this bloodshed is claiming lives at a catastrophic rate. The viciousness of these crimes also seems to continue to spread. Like with COVID, we are losing loved ones well before their time.”

The initiative “will be leveraging the resources of the local, state and federal government using data-driven approaches for identifying (criminals) in our area using tactical and strategetic intelligence and using technology to reduce violence.

“But at the heart of it all we will be using good, old-fashioned police work to enforce the law and let the criminals know that the scales are no longer tipped in their favor.”

Simon and Davis acknowledged they are not providing specific details on how the initiative will work so they do not give away strategies to the criminals.

During a question period with reporters, Davis said the public will “see a heavy police presence in areas we have identified as problem areas.”

At the beginning of the news conference, Tony Kaleugher of McDonald was sworn in as a new Youngstown police officer.

Mayor Jamael Tito Brown also mentioned that the reward for information leading to an arrest and prosecution in the shooting death of Persayus Davis-May, 10, at her home on Samuel Avenue Aug. on 18 has risen to $15,000, thanks to an offer from a local business owner.

erunyan@vindy.com

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