Officers conduct gang sweep dubbed "Operation Gangsgiving" - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Officers conduct gang sweep dubbed "Operation Gangsgiving"

By Antwan Harris
Eyewitness News Reporter

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- Chattanooga Police has teamed with several agencies in an effort to clean up the city's streets for the holidays. They are doing that by targeting gang members and trouble areas of town. It's aptly named "Operation Gangsgiving."

As a gang round-up continues in Chattanooga.

"The streets belong to the citizens of Chattanooga, not the gang members," says Chattanooga Police Sgt. Todd Royval, "We decided to target that problem to make it safe for the community through the Thanksgiving holiday."

The 69-man operation is divided into 12 teams, each containing members from Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, Chattanooga Police, FBI and ATF agents.

Royval said the shootings over the past week helped bring about this operation.

Friday, an 18 year-old was arrested for the shooting death of a man on Pawnee Trail.

Sunday, a 14-year-old was shot in the face, and Monday a man was shot on Foust Street.

He says roundups like these have brought in 20 - 30 arrests in the past.

"What we were doing today was to go out there and disrupt the organizations as much as possible and get the gang members that have warrants," says Sgt Royval.

Royval said the extra resources from additional agencies helps make the round-up a success.

He says many of the gang members catch word of operation and try to leave town or bring in more guns for protection, in other words, it's very dangerous police work.

"You are dealing with people who have guns to protect their interest and their drugs and yes, it is very dangerous," says Royval.

"Operation Gangsgiving" will continue through the weekend.

Police are targeting at least 30 gang members in 5 concentrated areas of the city.

No official numbers are available yet, but police say they have made dozens of gun and drug arrests.

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