A new crack-down on gun violence is bringing federal agencies on board to take illegal guns out of the hands of felons in Greenville.
Greenville Police are calling it “Real Time.”
“It is harsher sentences, more time in jail, higher fines,” said Captain Gerald Hunt.
It’s only been a month and Hunt says they’re already seeing big changes.
“In the last two weeks we’ve had about 18 guns removed off the street….which has been a very big impact,” said Hunt. “We have one case that was worked last week where one individual was in control of at least 11 guns.”
Under this new program through the Greenville Police, the US Attorney’s office and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, Hunt said it is now taking hours, not years, for justice to be served.
“In the case of the young man with the 11 guns, we actually called ATF out to the scene and within 24 hours, they had him in the system,” said Hunt.
It’s just one example of how their “Real Time” protocol is working to take illegal weapons off the streets and potentially bust up gang activity.
Hunt says whenever a Greenville Police officer arrests someone with a gun, they call federal agencies. This means an offender could see a federal judge the same day.
“It’s allowing us to get more bang for our buck,” said Hunt.
7 on your side spoke to U.S Attorney Bill Nettles. He said felons in the federal system who have other drug and crime convictions can be put away for a mandatory minimum of 15 years, if caught with a gun. He said state law for the same crime is no more than 5 years.
Hunt said initiatives like these can help prevent tragedies like the murder of 16 year-old Cobey Smith, who was found shot to death in Greenville’s Nicholtown community last January. The case is still unsolved.
“It’s something that’s taken a toll, not only on the victims’ families, but the whole community and officers that respond to that on a daily basis,” said Hunt.
Hunt said one death is one too many. The Greenville Police Department has also appplied for a “Gravity” grant to help them establish anti-gang initiatives like a hotline. They also are a part of the FBI gang taskforce.