Warren police credit community for helping take guns & drugs off - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Warren police credit community for helping take guns & drugs off the street

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WARREN, Ohio -

It's community involvement of a different kind in Warren that's helping police in a major way.

Warren police detectives say when a shooting and chase took place two days ago, community tips helped recover 12 firearms and heroin with an estimated street value of between $5,000 and $6,000.

It was all hands on deck on Tuesday afternoon, just after 3 pm when shots were fired in the area of Brier Street SE.  Officers learned one person was being treated for gunshot wounds at St. Joseph Hospital in Warren.

There was a chase involving a vehicle that ultimately plowed into another vehicle with two innocent teenagers who were in another car, giving them concussions 21 News would later learn.

The suspects ran into a home on Burton Street SE.

After working 24 hours that day, and executing search warrants at three addresses in the city, Warren police have now arrested shooting victim Shawndon Flowers for failure to comply with officers and driving under suspension.  

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, but is being held on a probation violation.  

Detectives say more arrests are expected.

But most importantly guns and drugs are off the streets.

In this day and age, the community is often reluctant to get involved because of fear of retaliation.  But in this case, Warren police tell 21 News the community's anonymous tips led to search warrants and the recovery of 12 firearms, including two that were laying right in the street where students were released from school.

Warren police lieutenant Greg Hoso said, "Thank goodness for our citizen who happened to see those lying in the street. It was shortly after school was let out so there was definitely kids in the area, walking in the area, but he didn't touch them.  He saw them there and ran down the street and got one of the officers and we were able to recover them."

Lt. Hoso says the quick response of uniformed officers and tips from the community have also taken 40 grams of heroin off the street, a drug that continues to kill a growing number of Mahoning Valley residents.  

"We have officers and detectives going out there every day and doing investigations on drug cases.  We always ask the citizens any tips that they have to call down here, or that they come down and give us, and if they ask to be anonymous they will not be revealed.  Drop off a note, send off a letter to the police department or call the tip line and we will follow up.  They are not all solved and people arrested within hours or a day, these investigations take a while, but we do look into them," Hoso said.

The lieutenant tells 21 News the guns and drugs that were taken off the street wouldn't have been possible without the uniformed officers and the witnesses and the community that helped point those officers in the right direction.  But the community has to continue to speak up against the violence and as police fight the war on drugs.

Police will have the guns analyzed to see if they have been used in other crimes and they do expect other arrests to be made as part of the on-going investigation.

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