An early-morning joint operation of several law enforcement agencies arrested 55 people on charges ranging from drug possession to armed robbery to failure to register as a sex offender.
"Operation Mike" was a one-day sweep that began at the crack of dawn Friday. Hundreds of police officers from 65 local departments and the Illinois State Police fanned out across the south suburbs in search of scores of suspected criminals.
Veteran cops point out that the best time to find someone who doesn't want to be found is early in the morning. The officers involved in Friday's operation marshaled first at a community center in Orland Park and then hit the streets just before daybreak.
House after house, officers went to the last known-address of those with arrest warrants. Sometimes the investigators hit pay dirt. Other visits brought false alarms.
Operations like Friday's are tedious, time consuming and can be dangerous.
"Obviously the person we're looking for may be wanted -- is wanted on a warrant -- and there may be other people in the house that they associated with that may be felons," explained Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Bruce Johnson.
For that reason, Friday's operation included a massive amount of firepower and reminders from colleagues to be careful. The reminders aren't taken lightly. Officers have died in similar operations.