NORFOLK, Va. - Announcements about a counter-gang initiative were made on Wednesday morning.
The Norfolk Police Department discussed the results of "Operation Triple Beam – Tidewater," which focused on wanted gang members and firearms-related offenders.
The operation resulted in 46 fugitive arrests, including eight suspects who were wanted for homicide and 17 wanted for gun offenses.
"Gang-related violence often involves gun violence, which inflicts a massive and tragic toll on our communities," said Raj Parekh, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Officials said 20 documented gang members and known gang associates were among those arrested. Additionally, 36 firearms, $38,551 in cash and about $500,000 worth of illegal drugs were seized.
"The Norfolk Police Department had a big footprint in terms of those arrested," said Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone.
Since May 31, more than two dozen teens or children have been shot or killed in Hampton Roads. Officials say arrests and gun seizures correlated to those crimes.
"Here in Norfolk, there was 14 individuals arrested, nine of which are gang members," said Boone.
Many were juveniles. One of those arrested is connected with the shooting of four children ages six to 16 on Madison Avenue on July 2.
After a surge in summer gun violence, the streets in the area bit safer. Boone says, though, this is just the beginning and says community-based solutions are in the works.
"If we didn't get you this time, we will get you next time," said Boone. "Now we really need to focus on the youth, flow of guns and poverty."
The overall goal of Operation Triple Beam was to "foster safer communities by providing immediate relief from gang-related violence by investigating and arresting fugitive gang members and the criminal organizations responsible for committing violent crimes," a press release said.
The operation is a U.S. Marshals-led counter-gang initiative. Fourteen law enforcement agencies from across Hampton Roads took part in the two-month operation, which concluded last week, officials said.