Cleveland’s gang impact unit confiscates 100+ guns

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CLEVELAND-- City officials discussed the results of the Cleveland Division of Police Gang Impact Unit during a news conference Thursday afternoon.

The event was held at the Zelma George Recreation Center at 1 p.m with Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, Police Chief Calvin Williams and Commander Gary Gingell.

Last year, the gang impact unit took more than 100 guns off the streets. So far this year, the gang impact unit confiscated 125 firearms in the city of Cleveland.

"This is a small portion of what our gang impact squad has done this year. It's also a small portion of what we do in the city everyday," Williams said.

The unit focuses on gangs in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood and the area of East 105th Street and St. Clair, as well as in Tremont. Police said the city doesn't have a lot of nationally-based gangs, instead they are neighborhood-based, like the Heartless Felons and West Side Mafia.

"What we want to stress is that's there's a comprehensive, all-hands-on-deck partnership to addressing violent crime in the city of Cleveland," Williams said.

The gang impact unit was established about six years ago to combat violent crime. There are 35 officers in the unit.

Jackson and Williams denied the news conference had anything to do with the mayor's campaign for reelection.