INDIANAPOLIS — Over the last year, hundreds of illegal firearms have been seized by the Indiana Crime Guns Task Force.
The task force was established one year ago, and law enforcement from across central Indiana are touting the program’s success.
Just last week, investigators with the task force helped police in Boone County arrest a wanted felon along I-65.
Driving to Indy from Chicago, 26-year-old Vincent Love was arrested after police allegedly found a 2-pound bag of meth, along with a jar of marijuana, ecstasy, crack cocaine and two illegally-possessed handguns.
Court records show Love had three active warrants in Marion County for drug and weapons charges at the time of his arrest. Police said that is just one example of the work being done to reduce violence in central Indiana.
“We may not know how many lives were saved getting this dangerous individual off the street, but I will say every time we take a gun out of the hands of a prohibited individual, lives are saved,” said Chris Bailey, an assistant with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
Along with that case, over the last year, the task force has seized 369 illegal firearms. Those investigations resulted in the arrests of 397 repeat violent offenders.
The goal is to prevent violence, although it’s hard to measure exactly how many crimes were avoided.
“It’s very difficult to prove a negative, but the statistics we do have are very discernable. It’s making a real difference,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett.
Mayor Hogsett pointed out the task force’s work has coincided with a drop in both fatal and non-fatal shootings this year compared to last.
“As violence in our city falls, we must work harder to ensure guns aren’t falling into the wrong hands. That’s when people get in trouble,” said Hogsett.
The task force is also designed to keep cities and counties surrounding Indianapolis safe.
“Crime doesn’t respect arbitrary political boundaries,” said Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness. “If we work collectively, we can achieve an outcome better than an individual agency can.”
The regional task force marked an expansion of Indy’s Crime Gun Intelligence Center, which began in January 2019. Since 2019, CGIC has seized a total of 1,057 firearms.