Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda announced Tuesday morning that 124 people were arrested in a string of raids over a 28-day period. The effort to nab these suspects, said Derenda and others, were made possible through partnership among several law enforcement agencies as well as the community.
The arrests were conducted between July 11 and August 25 of this year in several Buffalo neighborhoods. The cocaine and crack seized as part of the raids have an estimated street value exceeding $156,000, according to police.
"Many of these warrants were off complaints from residents," Derenda said. "It's a quality of life issue. We rid these houses from our neighborhoods."
Also receiving praise from Buffalo Police were other law enforcement agencies who provided information and manpower to bring suspects into custody. They include the Erie County Sheriff's Office, City of Lackawanna Police and New York State Police.
Representatives from Lackawanna Police were not present. Other guests, though, shared the sentiments of Buffalo Police that cooperation among agencies made the success of these raids possible.
"To do this type of large operation over several weeks, with the number of warrants that were executed, to do it safely and the success that found within it speaks to our determination to help the community and keep it safe and increase the safety of our partners," said State Police Major Edward Kennedy.
Police officials say a majority of violent crimes in the city are drug or alcohol related and that many of the arrests were gang-related.
Fentanyl was also among the drugs seized from various raids.
"We know the scourge of narcotics, especially with the fentanyl and heroin problem where people are dying, each and every day, in our area," said Dennis Richards, Chief of Detectives for Buffalo Police. "Certainly, our efforts here prove once again that local law enforcement is out to break up these networks and get people the help that they need."