Thursday, March 28, 2013

Gun Violence and the Need for Change


This week, I have the opportunity to speak at the No to Gun Violence, Yes to Life Campaign and Moms Demand Action rallies to stop gun violence and share my voice among a group of people all fighting for one cause, to end gun violence. As I prepare to stand before the citizens of this community, I pondered how I will discuss the appalling number of gun deaths not just in our community, but in our nation.

Every day our officers leave home to patrol our neighborhoods and streets not knowing what dangerous situations they may encounter. As Chief of Police, I have to do everything I can to make their jobs easier and safer. Approximately 897,000 guns are carried by the law enforcement officers in the United States…a small number compared to the 310 million guns owned by U.S. citizens. With 88.8 guns for every 100 people, the United States is heavily armed, and it is reflected in our gun-related assaults and homicides. In the past five years in the City of St. Louis, there have been 8,208 Aggravated Assaults with a gun and 85% of homicide deaths were caused by gunfire.

I began my duties as Chief of Police on January 1, 2013…just 17 days after one of the deadliest mass shootings in history, the tragedy in Newtown. I asked myself what I thought needed to be done so that a massacre like the one in Connecticut never happened again.

My answer includes stronger community support and partnerships, stricter gun laws and mental health  awareness. Also, those convicted of weapon charges must suffer the consequences. Punishing gun crimes with probation is not adequate and sends the wrong message to criminals.

Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that aside from the United States' high homicide rate, firearms caused work-loss, rehabilitation and emotional trauma  in excess of $60 billion. The CDC has since called gun violence an “epidemic” and officially declared the issue a “public health crisis.”

As a community, and as human beings, we must take a stand, and demand change.



No to Gun Violence, Yes to Life Campaign
Friday, March 29, 2013 at 11:30 am
St. Paul A.M.E. Church
1260 Hamilton Ave.

Moms Demand Action Rally
Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 11am
Kiener Plaza
500 Pine St.

2 comments:

  1. Well said this should be sent to every person in the police department and printed out and posted on every post board it's a must read for all who care about safety, "Well Said" Chiefy.
    Now also note this, I feel that in keeping the people safe as best as you or anyone can, and to make sure what happened in Connecticut never happens here, you need to make sure you hear what the people have to say, listen and take action, the right fair action. When you want the community to be involved you have to be involved as well as in tuned with the community. You have so many law breakers in the city of St. Louis and they are those who vow to protect and serve. You got police officers in the city that take dope and dope money from the pushers and drive them to other locations and make them get out of the car. YES, right in my own neighborhood this is seen. You got police offers running red lights, texting with their heads down while driving, blocking traffic in their cars to talk to another police office. Parking in the middle of the streets hanging out the window trying to make conversation with young girls walking down the street. The list goes on. You ever wonder why police officers are so disrespected and shot at? You ever wonder why yalls guns womb most of the time and the criminal guns kill yall most the time? It's because cops in the city have a bad name because of the bad stuff they do in the streets. Unnecessary roughness because they have a gun and badge. And this is not all but police officers a few bad apples will make the rest rot if you don’t get them out. Now if you want the community to respect and serve as eye watchers, you need to talk to those air heads police officers under you and administer stricter punishments to them when they break laws. You said and I quote "Punishing gun crimes with probation is not adequate and sends the wrong message to criminals. Unquote" Chief never give what you yourself are not willing to receive. Punishing those for misuse of authority ship with suspension with pay is not "ADEQUATE" and it sends the dog-gone wrong message to the community. You feel me? So with this being said, the criminals on the street, is not the only reason people feel threaten to point of buying gunssss. I love my officers and those who put their lives on the line, but for you my man, if you want to make it out of office with just grey and white hair and less medication, hear the community we got something to share with you. I believe if you clean up the department (home) you will see a difference in the community, at least I am praying for this. Have a wonderful holiday.
    Your #1 Bloggee

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  2. You know Chief I really wish I could take control of your blog so I can bring the heat up in here and get the people talking your blog is dead like it's been bit by the blog vampire and all life has been sucked out of it. I guess people are somewhat feared in who reads what they post. Well I am not feared I will speak my mind. Your blog needs attention, some love and a few free drinks of Koolaid with bologna samiches. Have a nice day.

    Your #1 Bloggie

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