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SCVNews.com | North County Probation Sweep Nets 4 Illegal Weapons in SCV | 12-14-2011
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Antonovich and Eric Newby of the Probation Department take aim at violators.

Four illegal weapons were confiscated in the Santa Clarita Valley on Wednesday as the Los Angeles County Probation Department led a multi-agency sweep. Operation D.I.S.A.R.M. included 158 probation compliance checks in the Supervisor Mike Antonovich’s 5th District.

The Probation Department led a team of 250 deputies and officers from 5 federal, state and local agencies in the operation to ensure that active probationers, who have a history of weapon possession violations or violence with weapons usage, were in compliance with their probation conditions.

During the operation, 35 probationers were arrested; 23 firearms, numerous rounds of ammunition and drugs, including cocaine and marijuana, and drug paraphernalia were confiscated, as well as the Department of Children and Family Services’ Multi-Agency Response Team (MART), opening up fourteen follow-up child abuse investigations.

In the SCV, the four illegal weapons included three rifles and a handgun, Antonovich spokesman Tony Bell said.

At the conclusion of Wednesday’s operation, additional firearms checks will be conducted through ATF’s NIBIN System for ballistic analysis and firearms tracing to determine the source of these illegal weapons.  Every effort will be made to determine if these weapons are related to other unresolved crimes in the region.

The Los Angeles County Probation Department’s Developing Increased Safety through Arms Reduction Management (D.I.S.A.R.M.) Unit, led “Operation D.I.S.A.R.M.” in a multi-agency effort that included 28 teams made up of Deputy Probation Officers and officers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Community Oriented Policing Services, and Pasadena Police Department.

The Probation Department’s D.I.S.A.R.M. program was initiated by 5th County District Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich in February 2000 following the tragic August 1999 shootings at the North Valley Jewish Community Center and the murder of a postal worker by Buford Furrow, an armed felon on probation from Washington State.

The D.I.S.A.R.M. program entails pairing Deputy Probation Officers with local law enforcement personnel to perform unannounced searches of probationers and their homes, as a condition of probation, and targets the confiscation of guns, drugs, and other contraband.

Since its implementation in February of 2000, the D.I.S.A.R.M. program has seized 7,956 weapons and more than $360,862,506 Million in illegal drugs and drug money, resulting in 16,144 arrests. Fifty percent of probationers were found to have been out of compliance with the conditions of their probation. Today, the number of probationers found to be out compliance has dropped to ten percent.

Chief Deputy Probation Officer Calvin Remington’s stated, ” I’m very pleased with the results of today’s operation and extremely proud of our D.I.S.A.R.M. probation officers who routinely put their own safety on the line to protect our neighborhoods, “Remington said.  “It’s collaborations like these that provide the best service to local communities.”

Captain Robert Tubbs of the Sheriff’s Department’s Community Oriented Policing Services, COPS, said, “This is a great example of inter-department teamwork.  Numerous agencies and personnel came together to increase the safety within this region.  This operation shows what a great impact on crime can be had when attacked on a regional level.” He added that these types of operations will continue and others are in the planning stages now.

The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services – MART participated in the operation by accompanying Probation and Law Enforcement Agents during the Probation compliance searches to ensure that children were not at risk from accessible weapons, drugs and/or other child endangering factors.  The specialized investigators during the course of the operation came across 14 children that were determined to be at risk for abuse/neglect and opened up investigations for on-going follow-up protective service.

“ATF considers Los Angeles County Probation (DISARM) a critical partner in its long-term mission of combating violent crime and removing criminals from our communities,” says John A. Torres, Special Agent in Charge ATF Los Angeles Field Division.  “ATF will continue to dedicate federal resources in conjunction with those crucial law enforcement contributions of local agencies to the pursuit of eradicating and forestalling criminal activity.”

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