Smyrna police sweep results in 32 arrests

SMYRNA – Fugitives, drug activity and traffic violations were found during last week’s multi-agency operation in the Smyrna area.

Outside law enforcement agencies assisted Smyrna Police to create more coverage area Feb. 12, spokesman Cpl. Brian Donner said.

“The entire Smyrna area was targeted,” he said. “Having officers from (other) jurisdictions allowed us to move about the entire area unencumbered by jurisdictional boundaries.”

The operation was conducted from the afternoon through the evening, authorities said. Police said 32 adults were arrested on various charges, court-issued capiases and warrants. Among them were 25 wanted persons and seven suspects arrested on new drug charges, police said.

One suspect resisted arrest by fleeing on foot from a residence; police said he was apprehended “very quickly” by officers at the scene.

Also, 36 traffic arrests resulted in what Cpl. Donner described as “part of the overall high visibility enforcement and were not a part of any separate campaign.”

One criminal summons was issued for an alcohol-related offense, police said. Small amounts of methamphetamine and marijuana were also seized.

Detectives in Smyrna’s Special Investigations Unit planned the operation.

“It has been at least a few years since we have done an operation like this one,” Cpl. Donner said. “The purpose behind the operation was both for high visibility enforcement and to apprehend offenders who held active warrants both from our agency or others. We also focused on any individuals who had active court capiases/warrants.”

Also participating were municipal officers from Clayton and Cheswold, Probation and Parole, Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement, Department of Correction and Delaware State Police Troop 9. Smyrna Police has participated in past DSP-organized campaigns, the last one in southern New Castle County.

Officers teaming up

About 30 officers divided into teams took part.

“They were provided with target suspects who had warrants, but they were also encouraged to proactively enforce any traffic/pedestrian/nuisance violations observed during their patrols,” Cpl. Donner said.

“In terms of the suspects they were targeting, they were provided with biographical information on them, known locations etc. All information accessible to us via our various criminal justice databases.”

Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover was notified in advance of the upcoming high number of arraignments likely coming.

There were no numbers available on how many suspects overall were targeted.

“The ones who were not apprehended remain wanted and will be arrested upon their next police contact,” Cpl. Donner said.

Cpl. Donner described the campaign’s value as “two-fold.”

“For one, it allows the citizens and visitors to see a very high police presence, dedicated to enforcing all laws for a sustained period,” he said. “These officers were not answering calls for service. They were solely being proactive.

“Also, apprehending wanted persons is important because for every capias or active warrant, there is likely a victim who has not received their restitution or a victim who has not had their day in court because the suspect has refused to show up to answer for their charges.”