Police chief: Robbery task force putting up impressive numbers

LAWRENCEVILLE - The stats would suggest it's working.

Three months in, a special force designed to cut violent crime has bagged more than 800 miscreants in Gwinnett County, officials said Wednesday.

Since its inception Aug. 15, the Gwinnett Police robbery task force has been anything but idle. Its officers have stopped 979 suspicious people and 781 suspicious vehicles while keeping up with more than 11,000 area checks.

The task force was formed late last summer to combat a recent spike in Gwinnett robberies.

Its objective? To deter, respond to and investigate robberies in Gwinnett, based on a recent analysis of commercial and residential heists.

"We identified 111 robbery suspects and arrested 51," Gwinnett police Chief Charles Walters said.

In that time, the task force has also made hundreds of arrests for other misdemeanor, felony and drug charges, while locating 153 wanted people, Walters said.

"These numbers show that our police are serious about fighting crime, especially in central and western Gwinnett," said Commission Chairman Charles Bannister. "We will not rest as long as criminals are preying on innocent victims in our communities."

The statistics don't end there. Walters said the task force also made 4,971 traffic stops, issued 3,940 citations and recovered 37 guns and 32 stolen vehicles in the last three months.

During the holidays, Gwinnett police are promising a heightened presence around shopping areas, malls and major thoroughfares throughout Gwinnett, Walters said.