- Associated Press - Thursday, July 14, 2016

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) - The Greenville Police Department has created a new unit meant to combat gun violence.

Greenville Police Chief Mark Holtzman tells local media that the Gun Violence Reduction Unit launched the last week of June and will respond to any crime involving a weapon for at least the next four years. The unit is federally funded and consists of four officers.

Holtzman says the department has averaged about 500 shots fired calls per year over the last four years. The gun violence unit will work solely on gun cases, unless needed for backup elsewhere.

When officers aren’t answering calls for service, Holtzman says they will use data showing areas with the most concentrated gunfire to drive their patrols.

Since hitting the streets, the unit has already made more than 20 arrests, including two of convicted felons with a firearm.

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