With 40,000 outstanding warrants to execute, the city of Flint needed some help.
Flint's new police chief, James Tolbert, announced today that a new multi-agency coming together to pursue the warrants task force had been formed to capture those with outstanding felony warrants.
This morning at 6, Chief Tolbert introduced the teams, which have the Flint police, Grand Blanc Township police, Michigan State Police, Genesee Sheriff's deputies, the Department of Corrections, U.S. Marshalls, the FBI, and the ATF all as members.
There are four "apprehension teams" in total, with about a dozen members making up each team.
The teams focused on the city of Flint as well as some surrounding cities, like Burton and Davison. Each team has one team leader, with everyone coordinating back to the Flint chief of police.
76 people that have outstanding warrants for violent crimes have been targeted in this on-going sweep.
18 people from that list, wanted for crimes ranging from arson, to attempted murder, to felony firearm were captured this morning.
Safety, says Chief Tolbert, was the key in this plan. Part of that safety plan meant no forced entry to get a suspect. Instead, a perimeter would be set up and the chief contacted for next steps.
The plan was first put into action yesterday, with more of the plan taking place this morning. Surprise was a key element, so no information about the teams was released until after this morning's sweep.
On a normal day it is difficult, say city officials, to execute old felony warrants. The city just doesn't have the man-power.
With all the extra-agency help, however, they were able to go out and capture wanted suspects.
At a press conference this morning, Chief Tolbert said, "These operations will not cease. They need to turn themselves in."
Two of those caught were in possession of a firearm at the time of capture. Another suspect found was involved with the malicious beating of a woman.
When Police Chief James Tolbert was asked about the remaining thousands of active warrants he replied, "how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time," said Tolbert.