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U.S. Marshals, Akron police made 135 arrests, confiscated 22 firearms in targeted operation

Akron Police Department cruisers are seen in Downtown Akron.
Ryan Loew
Ideastream Public Media
Akron police and U.S. Marshals targeted violent crime in the city for the past 30 days, making 135 arrests and confiscating 22 firearms.

For the past 30 days, the U.S. Marshals Service, Akron police and other area law enforcement have targeted gun violence and gang activity in the city, according to a press release issued on Thursday. The effort, named Operation Triple Beam, was a collaborative law enforcement operation that targeted areas of high gun violence and gang activity.

The operation comes as gun violence has reached a peak that's concerned politicians, law enforcement and public health officials.

Deaths from firearms rose 204% from 2014 to 2022, according to Summit County Public Health, and in 2022, 94% of deaths by assault in Summit County were related to firearms, with Black residents bearing the brunt of the violence. Black residents accounted for 74% of firearm related assault deaths in the county, even though they only account for 14% of the county's population.

The operation resulted in the arrests of 135 violent fugitives and the confiscation of 22 firearms, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

“The Akron Police Department and U.S. Marshals Service joined efforts in this initiative to make Akron and Summit County a safer place for our residents," Akron Police Chief Steve Mylett said in a statement. "We will continue to work diligently to control violent crime, specifically gun and gang related crime, in Akron."

Operation Triple Beam was a major success, U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott said in a statement.

"Our unwavering partnership with the Akron Police Department proves that we are committed to ensuring the safety of the residents of Akron by taking violent fugitives off the street," he said.

Sixteen other local and state law enforcement agencies supported the operation, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

Akron isn't the only city in Northeast Ohio struggling with surges in gun violence. This summer, the Ohio State Highway Patrol and other agencies launched a targeted surge initiative to help Cleveland police fight violent crime.

Akron and Cleveland are both looking for creative ways to curb gun violence. Akron City Council launched a Ring doorbell program this summer, giving the cameras out to residents in high crime areas. Cleveland also has a camera-sharing program and has expanded the gunshot detection system, ShotSpotter, throughout the city.

Abigail Bottar covers Akron, Canton, Kent and the surrounding areas for Ideastream Public Media.