MIDLAND, Texas (Nexstar) – An advanced unit with the Midland Police Department is staying incredibly busy this year keeping guns off the street.
“We are at the becking call of the entire department if they need assistance with something,” said Sgt. Jason Claire of the Directed Patrol Team.
So recently, work has been busier than before.
“As of recently, I think we’ve had more issues with them,” said Claire.
He’s talking about gangs. There are two big reasons for the spike. The first, COVID-19.
“Stir-crazy at the house. So they start moving and going out and doing things they’re not supposed to be doing,” said Claire.
And the list of crimes is long.
“Burglaries, robberies, gun violence, shootings, assaults…” said Claire.
But there’s another reason why Directed Patrol Team and all 20 gangs in and around Midland are staying busy, too.
“Burglars got out and really hit the town. People leaving guns in their cars and stuff like that,” said Claire.
More guns are out in the streets. 370 of them are stolen. That’s a 164% increase in thefts from 2019 to 2020.
Sgt. Claire says the Directed Patrol Team is working to stop it. Now, they’re spending time with the younger crowd.
“We tell them, ‘You really want this? Is this something you really want to get into?'”
Meantime, the Midland Police Department is looking to hire 31 more officers.
A recruiting Sergeant tells me they received 45 applications.