The number of homicides in Knoxville this year stood at 35 as of Monday night.
At the same time, the number of fatal overdose victims in Knox County reached 349.
Knoxville isn’t alone, of course. Cities all over the country have been experiencing the same ugly trends, and there don’t seem to be any easy answers as to how to make things better — especially in the short term.
Officials from the Knoxville Police Department, however, have responded with a sustained crackdown on drug- and gun-related offenses.
For several weeks now, KPD has released a summary of the preceding week’s arrests in those categories along with a breakdown of the weapons and dope that officers confiscated, and Monday was no exception to this recent trend.
KPD spokesperson Scott Erland released the following statement on Monday, along with a single photo of a plastic baggie containing what appears to be a whitish powder, most likely heroin that was confiscated in one of the week’s busts:
As part of the Knoxville Police Department’s ongoing and focused efforts to prevent overdose deaths, shootings and other violent crime, KPD officers arrested a total of 59 individuals ranging from 17 to 70 years of age for weapon or drug charges over the past week. In a review of KPD incident reports from September 27 through October 3, those arrests resulted in 25 total felony charges and 124 misdemeanor charges. Included among those charges were 12 for manufacture, sale or delivery of a controlled substance, two for convicted felon in possession of a handgun, one for unlawful possession of a weapon, one for possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, six for auto theft, 35 for outstanding warrants, and three for assault. Those arrests also resulted in the confiscation of seven guns that were possessed in violation of state law, nearly 87 grams of presumed heroin, almost 17 grams of presumed meth, almost nine grams of presumed cocaine, over 100 pieces of drug paraphernalia, and over $5,000 in U.S. currency.
Taking illegal firearms from those who wish to do harm and removing deadly and addictive narcotics from the street are at the core of the KPD’s mission, and KPD officers are working around the clock to help make Knoxville a better and safer place. Those efforts rely on the community’s eyes and ears. If you have knowledge of ongoing illegal drug activity or other criminal activity, you can play an active role in our mission of making Knoxville a safer place by submitting a tip to East Tennessee Valley Crime Stoppers, which is available 24/7 by phone at 1-800-222-8477, online at www.easttnvalleycrimestoppers.org or through the free mobile app, P3 Tips.
Published on October 5, 2021.