The operation lasted more than two hours and Oates said officers searched just the one car where they found the mask, guns and suspect.
Oates said “investigative detentions” like the one Saturday are very rare, but allowable under the law.
None of the 40 people detained have lodged complaints, Oates said, but the department has heard complaints form other people who weren’t involved in the stops.
Oates apologized for the inconvenience the operation imposed on people, but said it was needed to catch a dangerous bank robber.
“No question we inconvenienced citizens, and I feel badly about that,” Oates said.
The operation will be reviewed, Oates said, but he stands by the lieutenant who ordered it.
“I can’t find fault with the decisions that were made,” he said.