A drug enforcement operation by Franklin police netted 24 arrests over the course of 12 hours Saturday.
The operation, dubbed “Operation Blue Knight,” was a city-wide blitz during which 101 cars were stopped for various traffic infractions during the 12-hour period, said Kirby Cochran, police chief.
The goal of the blitz was to get drugs off the street throughout the city, but specifically in several neighborhoods that have seen an uptick in overdoses and drug activity in recent months, Cochran said.
With so many officers patrolling at once, officers found traffic violations that opened the door to other illegal activity, he said.
Officers arrested 24 individuals on various charges, including 16 drug possession charges and 11 charges of driving with a suspended license, according to police statistics from the blitz.
A handgun was also confiscated from an individual who did not have a license, according to police department data.
Police confiscated nearly seven ounces of marijuana, one and a half ounces of methamphetamine and more than four ounces of various prescription pills, data shows.
The blitz was a proactive approach to show drug dealers that getting drugs off the street and curbing overdoses are priorities, Cochran said.
“We are going to end up at those locations anyway, so why not be proactive?” he said.
It was sparked by a recent uptick in overdoses, but not necessarily overdose deaths. Several people recently have been revived by Narcan, Cochran said.
The blitz wasn’t costly. Only two officers who worked the blitz will get overtime, as most agreed to take a different day off to help with the blitz at their regular pay rate, he said.
“That says a lot that you have guys willing to take their time off to do this,” he said.
Cochran plans to have monthly or semi-monthly sweeps to continue the momentum, he said.
“We want to let those folks who are out there dealing dope in our community know that we don’t want it here,” Cochran said.
“This sweep was a good way to start.”
[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”By the numbers” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]
Traffic stops: 101
Vehicles towed: 2
Driving while suspended: 12
Misdemeanor charges: 13
Felony charges: 3
Drug charges: 16
Guns confiscated: 1
Marijuana confiscated: 6.9 ounces
Methamphetamine confiscated: 1.6 ounces
Pills confiscated: 4.25 ounces
Source: Franklin Police Department