FOX 32 NEWS - Chicago Police have struck back at known, violent offenders in a series of raids on the city's South and West sides.
Dozens of convicted felons were taken into custody Friday and police are promising more to come.
Police are also crediting a new technology initiative with helping identify many of their suspects.
Police targeted their raids on drug and gang infested areas on the South and West sides. One reportedly happened in this stretch of Leamington just south of Madison where suspected drug dealers clustered by the dozens before FOX 32’s camera showed up.
Police described it as an area you don't want to be without a gun. All told, police arrested 81 people in the raids.
“These individuals, these locations are basically determined by the violence. Gunshots, shootings, murders, those are the things that drive us to these locations, those are the things that put those individuals on our radar,” said Anthony Riccio, Commander of the Organized Crime Unit.
Police said they used their new shot spotter technology to help determine who many of their targets would be. The raids took three weeks to plan. Sixty-nine of those arrested were previously convicted of felonies, and 19 had gun convictions on their records. Detectives also seized several weapons.
“One of the guns that we took off the street last night on the West Side is actually a machine gun capable of firing 40-50 rounds in just a matter of seconds,” Riccio said.
But with all the violence and crime that continues to plague certain neighborhoods, some people are skeptical that the raids will have much impact.
“I'm saying the raids in itself I don't think they're accomplishing nothing but making statistics, giving them numbers, that's not stopping the shooting, the killing of these babies,” said Clifton Bonney McFowler of Build Chicago.
That's why the police superintendent continued to push for legislators to toughen the laws for repeat gun offenders.
“If you're okay every day sitting by watching these people die and that's okay with you, then good luck with that,” said Supt. Eddie Johnson. “But if you care at all you should be helping the city, do something about this violence.”
In addition to the 81 people that have been arrested, police are also looking for 39 other individuals and they are putting the bad guys on notice, more raids on in the works in the weeks ahead.