Police And Communities
Police have dedicated extra attention and resources to gang violence
in recent years, most notably Targeted Response Unit, a group of
officers that since 2003 has moved from district to district to crack
down on violence.
Weis said he has taken note of the increase in murders since last
year. He added his officers are working on solving the problem by
building bonds with all members of the community to help
"We have reached out to all our area commanders and district
commanders to tell them to look very hard at what's going on in their
districts and areas and try to be one step in front of the criminals. A
lot of crime does happen on Friday and Saturday nights, so we go
throughout the week trying to identify the most critical areas so we can
put the necessary resources in place as a deterrent and to respond
quickly in case something breaks out," Weis said.
Weis wants more guns off the streets and more cops on them. He wants
to move dozens of officers from desk duty to the streets, and arm them
with heavier firepower.
But many residents of high-crime communities say they do not trust
police, saying they harass and intimidate residents. Weis has that issue
must also be addressed, having made discipline against rogue officers a
"We absolutely need to have the cooperation, the trust, the
confidence of our community to work with us so they'll point us in the
right direction," Weis said. "I know there are things that have happened
in the past year that have tarnished the confidence… but if you look at
those incidents, it's a handful of officers who are doing that."
"I'm here to tell you today that the police officers are here to serve
you," Weis added. "But we truly, truly need your help."