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EPD VIPER Unit patrols the streets

They gather intelligence in the office and on the streets, racking up the stats, bringing in violent criminals and illegal guns. 

VIPER officer Bill Shirley says, "It's any given day there could be someone that makes a poor decision and that's just how it goes."

The Evansville police VIPER Unit is making its mark on the city, so Eyewitness News rode with some of the officers searching hot spots and high crime areas. 

VIPER officer Justin Jackson says, "You go after the bad guys that's literally it they turn you lose they say go after the bad guys and it doesn't get much better than that." 

The day started like any other, heading out the door, not knowing what the night will bring. The first stop was an attempt to make an arrest on a felony warrant, but no one was there. 

"Every run that we go to has got that level of where we kind of sit back and think how dangerous is this what are we going into," Shirley says. 

The unit of 11 hits the streets, looking for suspicious activity, someone with a warrant, or any illegal behavior. 

Eyewitness News came across a driver who failed to use a turn signal. Turns out, he didn't have a drivers license. But officers are also spreading a message to the community, talking to kids and letting people know if you're a violent criminal, VIPER is coming for you. 

"You can't arrest yourself out of criminals," Shirley says. "It's never going to happen so we just try to keep up with training and police tactics and go home safe every night."

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(This story was originally published May 30, 2018)

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