TPD announces Operation S.T.O.P. to focus on violent crime reduction

TPD announces Operation S.T.O.P. to focus on violent crime reduction
Chief Kral announced the new initiative on Friday (Source: WTOL)
Chief Kral announced the new initiative on Friday (Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Eleven homicides, 25 people shot, 62 total shooting incidents. These are the stark realities of 2017 in Toledo, and the police chief is ready to do something about it.

Chief George Kral said that there are no bad neighborhoods in Toledo but "microplaces" that are seeing much of the violent crime.

Those hotspots will soon be targeted, as well as the busiest criminals.

Violent crime trends from 2016 have continued into the new year.

On Friday morning, TPD unveiled Operation S.T.O.P. It stands for Strategic Tactical Operational Policing.

One specific area at a time will be saturated with police and the gang unit for a whole week.

"The locations are going to be picked based on the latest shooting data, historical information and crime trends that have been developed from our criminal intelligence section," said Chief Kral.

The city will get help from the State Highway Patrol and local and federal prosecutors.

Prolific offenders will be charged and prosecuted aggressively.

"We are thinking outside the box and our police department here in Toledo, along with all of our other partners, are really thinking about ways to address this problem with a new and renewed vigor," said Carole Rendon, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

Police will also go door-to-door telling neighbors what they're doing and asking for their help in solving crimes.

Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson could not attend the announcement but her chief of staff, Mark Sobczak, said, "We're going to do a very deep dive in the city on this safe, livable neighborhoods. So she's fully supportive of this."

TPD Captain Mike Troendle said most violent crimes are happening in central Toledo and in the south end.

Chief Kral insisted they won't use race or ethnicity to guide them, but rather, crime data.

"We're going to make sure that our efforts don't create or exasperate distrust or the appearance of unnecessarily aggressive police presence or enforcement. We want to be allies with the resident of these locations. Not adversaries," said Chief Kral.

Meetings will be held soon after a location is completed, with community members, to build off of what was learned in the operation.

The chief doesn't want to let these new areas fall into disrepair when they leave. He has asked the Department of Neighborhoods and Code Enforcement to follow up and help keep the peace.

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