FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — Officials from law enforcement agencies across the Fresno – Clovis metropolitan area Tuesday announced the results of a two-week operation dedicated to addressing violence in the area.

Operation Safe Neighborhoods ran from May 9 to May 22 according to Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama.

“It was very successful,” Chief Balderrama said citing a decrease of 24.3% in shootings and 32% in homicides.

The operation which utilized a “multi-pronged approach” netted 115 felony arrests, 173 misdemeanors, and included 65 gang arrests, 37 probation arrests, and 14 parole arrests. Additionally, law enforcement officials conducted 178 probation searches and 27 parole searches.

Officers found 136 untraceable and unserialized firearms commonly known as “ghost guns,” Chief Balderrama said.

In 2020, police recovered 1,549 guns in total. That number jumped to 1,931 in 2021, according to Chief Balderrama. Thus far in 2022, officers have recovered 772 guns, Chief Balderrama reports.

“What this tells us is that we have a lot of illegal firearms in the hands of people that should not have them,” Chief Balderrama says, adding that laws in the state are vital to stopping violent crime.

“Common sense laws in our state that hold violent criminals responsible are necessary,” said Chief Balderrama. “What I’ve learned in my experience is that people, if they’re not motivated by consequences, are not always going to do the right thing.”

Chief Balderrama gave kudos to the Biden administration, saying that he has seen more grant opportunities for law enforcement to hire more officers and, in turn, lower violent crime.

He also spoke about the need for more diversion and intervention programs for youth in the area, adding that young people need opportunities for mentorship.

“You can’t build a house with just a hammer alone, you need various tools,” he said.