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Violent crime dropped during Birmingham police’s Operation Eagle

May 05, 2017
Al.com: Birmingham

The Birmingham Police Department has declared Operation Eagle a success.

The department launched the 30-day police saturation, an effort to reduce crime in the city's hot spots on April 3.

Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper and Mayor William Bell Monday announced Operation Eagle. For the next 30 days, police will carry out the initiative to improve public safety, increase police visibility and partner with the residents of various communities to improve the quality of life.

Birmingham police Lt. Sean Edwards said violent crime, including homicides, robberies, felony assaults, sex crimes and shootings, dropped by 21 percent during the operation. And, gunshots detected by ShotSpotter dropped 26 percent from the previous month.

"We believe Operation Eagle was a success," he said in a statement. "The decrease in violent crimes is a strong indication that prevention became a reality. We are currently back at the planning table to discuss ways of reengaging."

Birmingham Mayor William Bell issued this statement: "We will not be satisfied until the homicide rate is significantly reduced or eliminated all together.

When they announced the initiative last month, Birmingham police Chief A.C. Roper and Bell said Operation Eagle was designed to improve public safety, increase police visibility and partner with the residents of various communities to improve the quality of life.

"We want to send a message to the bad guys that we're not going to tolerate some of the actions that are taking place in our streets,'' the mayor said last month. "We're going to do all that we can to take guns and drugs off the streets of Birmingham, but more importantly to reassure the public that we are aware of the situation, and we are putting in these proactive measures to address these issues to make the streets of Birmingham safe."

Operation Eagle was an "all hands on deck" approach to combating crime. During any given shift, there were 50 to 100 additional officers on the streets.

Officers were put on temporary assignments, off days were adjusted and overtime was used to put people and resources in the targeted areas overnight.

Officers were told to especially look for groups of people gathered at convenience stores, where several high-profile crimes have happened throughout the city this year.