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Dozens Of Criminals Arrested During 36-Hour Blitz
Updated September 2, 2016 7:34 AM
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - RTV6 reports dozens of criminals are behind bars as of Thursday night after a 36-hour blitz by Indianapolis police.

The arrests were part of a citywide police effort called "Operation First Step" aimed at putting a dent in crime in Indianapolis.

Thursday was also one of the first deployments of the department's new behavioral health unit. The unit is designed to fight crime in a different way by tackling a growing issue facing police.

Sgt. Catherine Cummings, who leads the unit, says the idea is to target the root cause of crime and get people the help they need before it's too late.

Officers also launched an undercover sting operation to fight prostitution, particularly on the east side. Police said they were targeting prostitutes and their "johns" in an effort to address both sides of the issue.

"You can't arrest your way out of all the problems and illness," said IMPD Lt. Daniel Green. "We have a major narcotics problem involving heroin in this city, and we have to look at crime contextually -- the neighborhoods it happens in, and the problems that go with it, like mental health."

They said they're going to continue operations just like this one over the next couple of weeks and months.

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