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Holyoke sweeps continue
Saturday, April 16, 2005
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HOLYOKE - Police arrested 16 people between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. in yesterday's downtown crime sweeps and then went back to the streets to continue the campaign, which has been going on since Wednesday.

"The officers had only been on the street for two hours when they racked up 16 arrests for drugs and related charges," Police Chief Anthony R. Scott said.

"I am very proud of the men and women of the Holyoke Police Department," Scott said.

This week's installment of what Scott calls Operation Take Back Our Streets, carried out mostly in areas known for crime and drug dealing, had resulted in more than three dozen arrests by last night.

Part of the message Scott said he wanted to send through this week's effort was that Holyoke would not be open for drug dealing discouraged in Springfield by the teaming up of state police with city officers.

Joining with state and federal law enforcement officers, the Holyoke department has put these zero-tolerance, Take Back Our Streets, crime sweeps into effect several times the past few years.

"It is a good time of the year to get on the street corners and make people know we are not going away," Mayor Michael J. Sullivan said.

The mayor had mixed feelings about the fact that many of those arrested in Holyoke since Wednesday were from out of town.

"It is a bad thing that they come here from outside, but it is a good thing that crime is not rooted in Holyoke. These sweeps have made a difference in Holyoke. The image and safety issues have improved greatly," Sullivan said.

Federal agencies joining Holyoke Police in the crime sweeps were the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Gang Task Force.

Members of the Western Massachusetts Narcotics Task Force also took part.
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