Chicago Police announced Wednesday that they arrested more than 70 people in two massive raids on the North and West Sides since Friday.
The "vice and narcotics enforcement operations" targeted three specific street gangs, police said, with 20 arrests on the North Side and 50 on the city's West Side. Police said the intent of the operations were to go after drug sales, the primary source of street gang revenue.
At a press conference Wednesday, police said the gangs were selling fentanyl-laced heroin.
"We targeted those locations due to community complaints and information from the alderman's office," said Commander Tom Waldera of the Bureau of Narcotics. "It resulted in over 50 arrests. Of those, half were within a thousand feet of a public school which is an enhanced charge we like to make sure we include in our operations."
"It is so, so bad out here," said Daryl Lobb, a West Side resident who has lived in his neighborhood for more than ten years. "I mean, where you're afraid to walk down the streets."
Police are now planning what are called "wraparound missions" to keep the gangs from coming back.
"Officers from different parts of the city will work together with the community and make sure these bad actors don't come back and understand what's been done and how we want to make a positive change in these areas," said Commander Sean Loughran.
The arrests are designed to send a message.
"Of these 50 arrests, 46 of these guys are convicted felons, so we are getting the right guys. We are not getting the low level guys or the guys that are occasionally using or buying," said Commander Anthony Riccio of the Bureau of Organized Crime.
"We're getting the guys that are hard core street gang members. 46 convicted felons, almost all street gang members, so we're getting the right guys when we have these missions," Riccio added.
Officers also detailed the "Strategic Subject List," or SSL, which is the Department's algorithm to determine an individual's likelihood to be a victim of or to cause gun violence in Chicago, based on several factors including previous police contact, affiliations with gang members, and more.