DANVILLE, Ill (WCIA) — The Danville Police Department (DPD) issued a statement Monday detailing several gun-related arrests since May, many of which included their problem-oriented-policing (POP) unit.
DPD Criminal Investigations Commander Josh Webb said at 5:07 p.m. on May 19, members of their POP unit stopped a car for an equipment issue near Bradley Lane and Washington Avenue. Officers saw a handgun sitting in between two passengers in the backseat of the car.
Police said during a follow-up investigation they discovered that the gun was loaded and not cased properly. The occupants were arrested and charged with unlawful use of a weapon.
At 5:40 p.m. on May 26, DPD’s POP unit stopped a car that was driving backward in the middle of the road near the 400 block of Elm Street, Webb said. The driver tried to flee from officers on foot but was taken into custody. He had several outstanding Vermilion County arrest warrants and was driving without a valid license.
A passenger in the same vehicle was carrying a loaded handgun and did not have a valid Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID). They were arrested for unlawful use of a weapon.
Webb said at 9:05 p.m. on May 29, their POP unit stopped a car for speeding. The driver of the car was drinking alcohol inside the car and was carrying marijuana that was not properly packaged. During their investigation, police found a handgun inside the car and arrested the driver for unlawful use of a weapon.
At 8:31 p.m. on June 5, DPD’s POP unit stopped a car for equipment issues near Griffin and Williams streets, Webb said. The driver had a suspended license and was taken into custody. Police also found a handgun in the car, and learned the driver didn’t have a valid FOID card. He was charged with unlawful use of a weapon and driving with a suspended license.
Webb said at 7:24 p.m. on June 15, officers saw a bicyclist riding down the sidewalk while wearing a bulletproof vest. Police tried to speak to them about a city ordinance regarding bicycling on a sidewalk. The bicyclist stopped, and officers heard something metal hit the ground where he was standing.
After getting out of their squad car, police saw a loaded handgun laying on the ground. They arrested the bicyclist and charged him with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and no valid FOID card.
At 9:31 p.m. Thursday, officers with the POP unit stopped a car for several equipment issues near Williams and Griffin streets. Police identified a passenger in that car who was wanted on charges from a previous incident. They arrested him and found a loaded handgun near where he was sitting.
The passenger did not have a valid FOID card. He was arrested and charged with unlawful use of a weapon.
The POP unit began their patrols in Danville May 18.