Kokomo police chief says large scale investigations ‘mainly’ begin with tips from neighbors

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KOKOMO, Ind. - Kokomo Police Chief Doug Stout said recent news of a large drug bust and thwarted shootings can give the perception of more crime in the city. But he told FOX59 crime isn't increasing—the number of arrests is.

Kokomo officers working drug investigations are satisfied their five-month long investigation ended in 24 arrests, 77 felony charges, and more on the way.

"Those who are going to choose to terrorize others in our community will be sought and investigated and prosecuted," Stout said.

After the arrests were made, the community can see the faces and read the names of the people Kokomo police charged as a part of "Operation Fastlane." But, what we do not see nor hear is from the people who police credit with beginning an investigation like this.

"Tips from neighbors that see the illegal or suspicious activity going on in their own neighborhood," Stout said. "It's those types of anonymous tips that lead us into these large investigations."

Stout said it is hard to measure the impact of lots of drug arrests because the investigations do not get started until someone identifies an issue.

"But any time you can take this many people off the street is obviously a good thing," Stout said.

hief Stout talked about the investigation into a could-be fight at Studebaker Park on Sunday night. He said a social media livestream broadcast a group of people waving guns and hyping people up to come to the park for the fight. Fortunately, police showed up before anyone fired shots.

"Anytime we're able to make arrests like this, even with the guns from the juvenile group located in Studebaker Park, came from anonymous tips," Stout remarked.

Police feel their strengthening relationship with the community is making Kokomo safer.

"Citizens appreciate when they call police with a concern that we're going to follow up with it, take it seriously and investigate their complaint," Stout said.

More arrests in Operation Fastlane are expected. These cases remain active for investigation. Anyone with additional information on the location of the remaining five individuals is asked to contact Detective Aaron Tarrh at (765) 456-7204 or the Kokomo Police Department Hotline at (765) 456-7017. You may qualify for a cash reward by calling Central Indiana Crime Stoppers at 1-800-262-TIPS with your anonymous tip.

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