Police chiefs plot new strategies against gun violence and mass shootings

Police chiefs plot new strategies against gun violence and mass shootings

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson listens to a question about body cameras in 2016. Johnson said technology has helped reduce crime in the city this year. (Jim Young/Reuters) Even as it is beset by gun violence, Chicago likes to claim it has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. “I laugh because that’s not true,” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson said Thursday. “For the first six months [after the law making gun possession a felony passed], we could not find a gun out on the street. But it actually takes three times for them to be treated like a felon” by Chicago’s courts, where judges and prosecutors were reducing gun charges to misdemeanors, and the word quickly spread. Soon, it was back to violent business as usual. Johnson spoke at a gathering of the nation’s big-city police chiefs in Washington on Thursday, exchanging ideas on what works and what needs to change to stem the tide of shootings in urban America. The Police Executive Research Forum, a Washington-based think tank that advises the chiefs on policy issues, then released an “Action Plan to Reduce Gun Violence,” which included items such as Johnson’s call for laws to serve as actual deterrents to criminals, stopping guns from entering the black market and improving threat assessments for possible mass shooters. The police chiefs and the conference organizer, PERF executive director Chuck Wexler, did not discuss gun control or gun rights explicitly, but they showed a lack of patience with […]

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