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POLICE TEAM: Special Unit Disbands

The Des Moines Police Department’s Special Enforcement Team is taking the season off.

But officials say over their five-month span they arrested almost 400 people.

Oficials initiated the seven-person team in April after an increase in drive-by shootings.

The team arrested 368 people and confiscated 30 weapons. Sixty-five of those arrests were for felonies, the rest were for misdemeanors.

The team also made more than 1,500 traffic stops and found seven stolen vehicles.

“This squad has that mobility, that flexibility; also their hours were somewhat adjustable if we saw a greater need, maybe, to stay a little later or come in a little earlier through the night,” Sgt. Halifax explains.

The question begs to be asked, if the Special enforcement Team has been so successful, why not keep it going year round?

“[It's] something that`s always under consideration,” Sgt. Halifax says. “If those types of trips were continued on into October and November, it`s fair to say we`d probably have them still active and rolling along.”

There have been at least three drive-by shootings since the unit shut down in late September. But the department says these crimes typically decrease when cold weather moves in. Should that change, the team will be redeployed.

According to Des Moines police, the special enforcement team was funded in part by revenues generated by the city’s red-light and speed cameras.



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