Three days of raids completed earlier this week often brought city residents out of their homes to express thanks to narcotics detectives and area SWAT teams who shut down numerous drug houses throughout Buffalo.
"People came out and thanked the officers," Buffalo Chief of Detectives Dennis J. Richards said Thursday during a news conference with Mayor Byron W. Brown and Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda.
In total, 63 drug dealers were arrested, eight guns removed, and hundreds of bags of heroin, cocaine and marijuana, plus several thousand dollars, confiscated during the non-stop raids that concluded Monday with 103 search warrants executed.
Brown said he wanted the citizens to know that their tips on criminal activity are taken seriously.
"This is the fourth crackdown on guns, drugs and quality-of-life issues this year. We followed up on complaint calls to 911 and 311, the confidential tipline, the department website and tips given personally to the police commissioner and myself," Brown said.
"Some of the houses were very low level, selling marijuana, while other houses were tied to violent gang activity," Derenda said. "We hit the whole gamut.
Some of the homes hit in the raids were situated on Seneca, Gibson, Niagara, and Hoyt streets; South Park, Woodlawn, Prospect, West Delavan, West, Nevada, and Manhattan avenues; Bennett Village Terrace and Military Road.
And while no major drug dealers or drug rings were busted, Richards said the impact of the raids will improve the safety of neighborhoods.
Additional arrests are expected in the coming days, Richards said.
Assisting the Buffalo narcotics unit were SWAT teams from the city, Amherst, Hamburg, Lancaster, Niagara County, Town of Tonawanda and state police. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents, Erie County Sheriff's personnel and the city's K-9 Unit also participated in the raids, along with patrol officers from the city's police districts.
It was dubbed Operation Power Sweep. Funds to help pay for the expenses associated with the raids were provided by the state's Division of Criminal Justice Services' Operation Impact.
Anyone with information on criminal activity can call or text the department's confidential TIP-CALL line at 847-2255 or contact "Report a Tip" on the department's website, www.bpdny.org.