Madison police are planning to make arrests in the coming weeks in an effort to reduce violence in the city.

In a blog entry posted Thursday, Madison Police Chief Mike Koval said he believes there are four or five dozen people who are “holding a city of a quarter of a million hostage to our fears.”

“For the next few weeks, individuals who have been identified and vetted as some of our most egregious offenders and gang members are going to be sought and separated from our midst,” Koval said.

Koval said police have gathered information at shootings, through tips and through the gang unit on dozens of people who will be the target of the arrests. He said there might not be evidence to charge some in connection with shots fired calls, but there is probable cause to make the arrests for other offenses.

“A resounding message must be sent in clear and unequivocal terms: We know who you are. Your ability to stay anonymous is no longer a luxury you can rely on and we are holding you accountable for your actions,” Koval said.

He cited an increase in shootings and shots fired calls as reason for the crackdown.