AUSTIN, Texas - The Austin Police Department (APD) seized dozens of guns and made over 100 arrests during their SXSW public safety operation.
Austin Police Department numbers from SXSW:
- 61 guns seized
- 130 arrests
- 250 pounds of marijuana confiscated
"From a public safety standpoint, South by Southwest 2022 was a success," said Assistant Chief Jerry Bauzon with the Austin Police Department.
This year's SXSW saw two separate shootings in the downtown area with one of them injuring 4 people on 6th street.
Assistant Chief Bauzon said their added enforcement during the festival played a key role in preventing more people from getting hurt.
"We will never know how many violent crimes were prevented due to the seizure of these 61 firearms," he said.
Along with tracking illegal firearms, APD also focused on human trafficking during SXSW.
"Several of those arrests were dealing with human trafficking, and it's the norm across the country whenever there is a large event human trafficking is on the rise," said Bauzon.
One concern heading into the festival was the potential of the drug fentanyl circulating. The drug was linked to two deaths and multiple overdoses in the downtown area earlier this month.
"There was a seizure of fentanyl and fentanyl related products prior to SXSW, so we were able to intercept these drugs before they hit our Austin area," said Bauzon.
Now that SXSW is over, APD said their efforts in the downtown area are far from over.
"We're going to continue to work on violent crime here in Austin especially when it comes to illegal guns and narcotics."
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