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Johnson City C.A.T. Unit makes more than 350 arrests in first year

JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) — Since its establishment last May, the Johnson City Police Department’s Community Action Team, or C.A.T. Unit, has seized guns and drugs from the streets, making more than 350 arrests.

“Everything stems from drugs,” said C.A.T. Patrolman Josh Bilek. He has been part of the team since it started in Johnson City.

“We look for unusual behavior in the higher crime areas or the known drug areas,” explained Bilek during a ride along with 12 News on Thursday.

The C.A.T. unit looks at ongoing community issues within the village. From warrants, expired vehicle registrations, to complaints of illegal activity of drugs and alcohol in the neighborhood, the C.A.T. Unit proactively patrols looking to clean up the streets in Johnson City. It gives officers the ability to focus on routine dispatch calls, so illegal activities can still be addressed by the patrol team.

“If you arrest a guy for drinking beer on the sidewalk, the next day he’s not going to go out there drink beer on the sidewalk,” said Bilek. “It frustrates the neighbors who don’t want to see that or they have children and they don’t want their kids to see that.”

You can email, call or meet the two-man C.A.T. team next time they’re patrolling an area near you. You can reach hem at CATunit@jcpolice.com or (607)729-9322 Ext: 301. Bilek said he looks forward to getting to know the community to answer your concerns.

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Michael Schwartz

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