Springfield, MO (STL.News) The Mayors and public safety officials from four of Missouri’s largest cities are working together on a common agenda to make our cities safe from violent crime. Springfield Mayor Ken McClure hosted the group in Springfield in September and reconvened the group Oct. 18 for a strategy session that included Missouri Governor Mike Parson.
All four Mayors identified gun violence as the top concern related to violent crime. The rising number of deaths related to firearms in Missouri, as well as the rest of the country, is a public health epidemic. The Mayors agreed to move forward together and in cooperation with state and federal officials.
With full respect of the Second Amendment, the group agreed on the following priority action items to address violent crime:
- Share information, develop strategies, and advocate with a common voice.
- Enhance Missouri’s witness protection program.
- Seek increased community mental health and substance abuse funding for victims and offenders.
- Develop steps to process violent offenders more quickly through the criminal justice system to remove them from our communities.
- Support clarifying statutory language to keep firearms out of the hands of children, except for hunting purposes, and violent offenders.
“We agreed to develop shared strategies that respect the Second Amendment, while also protecting citizens, law enforcement and first responders who are charged with protecting the public,” Springfield Mayor Ken McClure said. “We are pleased to be able to move forward with an initial action plan after sharing ideas and approaches to addressing this issue.”
“While the challenges facing our communities may be different based on where we live, we know there are comprehensive solutions to deal with violent crime,” said Columbia Mayor Brian Treece. “As Mayors, we are committed to working together to keep our communities safe.”
Lyda Krewson, St. Louis Mayor, said “I appreciate working with mayors from across the state on the important issues regarding gun violence, which are seriously affecting each of our communities. This collaboration has been very productive and historic. I look forward to making progress together.”
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said, “This mayoral forum has provided me an opportunity to share with my fellow mayors steps we have taken to stop gun violence in Kansas City. It’s also been beneficial to hear best practices from my colleagues’ communities that we can implement in ours. I’m committed to continuing these conversations and working with my Missouri colleagues on real, lasting solutions to curb this epidemic.”