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

intelligence-based policing.

"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

top priority.

"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 confidenceā€¦ 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."