Birmingham Police prepare for New Year's Eve with Operation: Crackdown
BIRMINGHAM - AL —
"If we catch you, we're going to arrest you, we're going to seize your weapon and we're going to put you in jail," Birmingham Deputy Chief Moody Duff said.
Duff is talking about celebratory gunfire. A problem in Birmingham, he says, for far too long.
"We had citizens in the city of Birmingham that were sleeping in bathtubs on New Year's Eve because of the gunfire," he said.
It's a problem Tyrone Stevenson is far too familiar with.
"It's not as safe as it used to be," Stevenson said.
And the lack of security has him packing up.
"I'm moving to a better, quieter neighborhood," he said.
He's lived in the West End for decades and he says never has it been this bad.
"[I] walked on my back porch and seen a bullet on the porch," he said. "If I had been back there, if my child had been back there, perhaps one of us would have been hurt."
It's what Birmingham police are trying to stop with Operation: Crackdown, which focuses on education and enforcement.
On New Year's Eve, there's going to be more than 100 officers patrolling all over the city.
For Chief A. C. Roper, celebratory gunfire is not acceptable.
"It demonstrates a total disregard for the lives and safety of other people," Roper said. "Bullets are not greeting cards."
With a police presence, Stevenson is thankful, but says, it's not enough.
"But they can't stop everything," Stevenson said. "They can't be in every place at once...it's impossible."
Police will also be cracking down on the use of fireworks and drunk driving.