YORK, Pa. (WHTM) — York City Police Commissioner Michael Muldrow is hoping a proactive approach will help stop gun violence in the city.
“We are contending with that same spike in gun violence and street crime that we are seeing nationwide,” Commissioner Muldrow said.
Earlier this month there were seven shootings in 11 days in York City. Ten people were shot in those incidents, two died.
“All of our officers are committed to combating it and chasing it down and trying to stand in the gap and hold the line to make sure it doesn’t get any worse and that problem doesn’t continue to grow,” Commissioner Muldrow said.
Muldrow has increased saturation patrols in the city.
“We are out there actively patrolling , being visible, making stops,” said Tim Mcdonnell, York City Police Department, patrol officer.
Mcdonnell has been a patrol officer for over 2 years. He has seized 7 firearms since December.
“It is an ongoing process. There is a lot of work involved. The biggest thing we appreciate is the support we see from the community,” Mcdonnell said.
Detectives are working long hours to solve open cases. Detective Dan Kling is one of 6 detectives working homicide cases. He has worked with the York City Police Department for 10 years.
“We are working extremely hard to solve these crimes, to better the community,” Detective Kling said. “We are reviewing video surveillance of all the incidents and gathering evidence. It takes a lot of time and a lot of people. “
Police are urging residents with any information on the recent violence to come forward.
“They live in those neighborhoods on a daily basis. They have the information. They see things constantly and all of that information is key to solving crimes,” Detective Kling said.
“The criminal element in the city is extremely small. It is just that they are so violent that it is explosive across the city and it gives the public the thought process that the criminal element is much bigger than what it is and then they are scared to talk to the police,” Paul Dehart, York City Police Department Detective said.
Dehart has been with the York City Police Department for 23 years. He is a task force officer with the ATF and also member of the newly formed York City Police Department Gun Squad.
The Gun Squad was created by Commissioner Muldrow to specifically go after violent offenders and gun crime in the city.
“We look at federally adopting some of these cases so the punishment is greater,” Dehart said.
The Gun Squad is also tracking down where the illegal guns are coming from.
“We actually have the resources to go back to see who purchased that particular firearm and how it gets into the hands of some of these criminals. The hope is that we can prosecute these individuals who are purchasing these firearms,” Dehart said.
So far this year, more than 65 guns have been taken off the streets.
“We are continuing to let people get to know us better and those relationships are directly being responsible for more tips and more information to get guns off the streets. Just know that you are not standing alone,” said Commissioner Muldrow.