MACON, Ga. — The Bibb County Sheriff's Office launched its largest operation since consolidation, which put more than 200 offenders in jail and seized 135 firearms along with drugs over the last two months.
"Everything we did in the operation were for the people," Lt. Cedric Penson said.
Sheriff David Davis says Operation Bold Heart launched in August after the county saw an uptick in violent crimes, including homicides, during the pandemic.
Davis says the operation started by targeting neighborhoods with violent criminal behavior.
"They began to identify those areas of town, and those people most likely to be involved in that violent activity," Davis said.
The result was 229 people arrested, over 100 firearms seized, and a slew of drugs confiscated.
Davis says these arrests happened through street enforcement, license and road checks, serving search warrants on areas with suspected drug activity and by serving state and local warrants.
Davis credited the operation with lowering violent crime. The office pulled up a heat map, showing 911 calls for shots fired and a person shot or cut before the operation versus during.
"It's decreased a good bit from what it was," Davis said.
Overall, the sheriff's office says calls for these crimes decreased by nearly 20%. Davis also noted that in the month of September there were no confirmed homicides.
According to the sheriff's office, since 2018, 25% of homicides were drug related and 56% of those deaths happened in neighborhoods that have a history of violent crime and drug activity.
"Homicides are a terrible thing, and certainly is something we're addressing. We solve many of them. We do a fantastic job of that. But, we also want to get out in the community to affect other crimes. There's people on here for entering auto, for other crimes, for bank robbery. It's larger than just one set of crimes, it's across the board," Davis said.
Davis says this is only the beginning of the operation. They're still investigating other people.
The new conference comes just four weeks before the November 3 election where JT Ricketson is challenging Davis for Bibb County sheriff. On Wednesday afternoon, Ricketson responded to the news.
"Here we are two months out from an election, and he's doing a press release about 'look at what we've done.' So yeah, all he's doing is validating what I said was a problem. He's been in office eight years. He could have been doing this all along," Ricketson said, noting the need of a designated warrant team at Bibb County Sheriff's Office.
This is a developing story and will be updated with more information.
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