Police seized two firearms during two early morning arrests Monday in the Westlake region, bringing to 15 the number of guns removed from Rampart-area streets in the past two weeks, a Los Angeles Police Department investigator said.

A dozen suspects have been arrested in connection with the recent firearm removals, according to LAPD Detective Craig Marquez of the Rampart Station’s gang squad, who said nine guns were confiscated in the previous reporting period from July 19-Aug 15.

“As the summer months have gone on, we did see an uptick on crime,” Marquez said. “It’s one of these things where we’re proud of the work that our officers are doing, keeping our residents safe, taking a lot of these illegal guns off the street.”

Police say taking guns out of the hands of people who aren’t legally supposed to have them is an effective way to target gangs and improve community safety.

“A lot of these guns that we recover get what we call `hits’ off of other shootings,” Marquez said. “We test fire everything that’s 9 millimeter and above.”

Specific details about the guns are entered into the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, which can help identify suspects in other crimes, he said.

“We’re trying to reduce the incidents of crime, and also the fear of crime,” Marquez said. “We’re looking at potential lives being saved.”

Alluding to an outpouring of frustration over incidents of police brutality nationwide, Marquez says this is an example of law enforcement getting results for local communities.

“It’s great to see that our officers are still going out there and still doing great police work,” he said. “That’s a lot of guns in two weeks.”

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