Mayor Morrissey joins Mayors Bloomberg, Daley in support of Mayors Against Illegal Guns

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11636358511883.jpg’, ”, ‘Larry Morrissey’);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-116363592032243.jpg’, ”, ‘Daley’);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-116363593332243.jpg’, ”, ‘Bloomberg’);

Rockford Mayor Lawrence J. Morrissey joined New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley in the first Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition Regional Staff Conference Oct. 26 in Chicago. Attendees were senior city officials from 22 Midwest cities who came together to discuss the national fight against illegal guns. The regional conferences were announced earlier in October in Boston when Mayor Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino announced the expansion of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition to 109 mayors in 44 states across the country.

Bloomberg and Daley were joined by Milwaukee, Wis. Mayor Tom Barrett; Tulsa, Okla. Mayor Kathy Taylor; Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey; Chicago Police Supt. Philip J. Cline; Chaska, Minn. Police Chief Scott Knight; New York City Criminal Justice Coordinator John Feinblatt; and several Chicago-area elected officials for the announcement at Chicago’s Police Headquarters in the Bronzeville section of the city’s South Side.

“Across America, cities large and small face the same challenge: keeping illegal guns out of the hands of criminals,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “As mayors, we have a responsibility to protect the people who live in and visit our cities…working together, we’re sending a message to Congress that we won’t be silent on this issue. When Washington makes bad decisions to protect criminals rather than the public, we suffer the consequences. These regional conferences will help cities take their destiny into their own hands by sharing critical information on how to combat illegal guns and better protect the public.”

Deputy Chief Greg Lindmark from the Rockford Police Department attended this workshop on behalf of the City of Rockford. Discussion included successful law enforcement initiatives and innovative technologies currently being deployed by the Chicago and Chaska, Minn., police departments and prosecutorial strategies being utilized by the Milwaukee District Attorney’s Office. Participants also heard from gun violence experts including Dr. Daniel Webster from Johns Hopkins University, Dr. David Hemenway from Harvard University and Dr. Tracey Meares from the University of Chicago. Participants also received a legislative briefing on pending federal legislation and discussed ways to effectively lobby both state and federal legislators.

Each mayor in the Coalition signed the Statement of Principles created during the first Mayors’ Summit on Illegal Guns held in April 2006 in New York City. The Statement of Principles outlines a commitment to increase enforcement of gun laws; increase penalties for criminals who possess, use and traffic in illegal guns; oppose federal efforts to restrict cities’ right to access, use, and share trace data; develop technologies that aid in the detection and tracing of illegal guns; support local, state and federal legislation that targets illegal guns; share information and best practices to coordinate legislative, enforcement and litigation strategies; and continue to expand the effort to other cities across the country.

Mayor Bloomberg also accepted the Abraham Lincoln Award from the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICAHV) for “his outstanding work to reduce gun violence” at a dinner at the Hotel Intercontinental Chicago. The 24th Annual Dinner honored individuals who, through their dedication and actions, have shown courage to effect change on gun violence prevention issues. ICAHV recognized Mayor Bloomberg for being “instrumental in working to crack down on illegal gun trafficking and bringing mayors from around the country to work on this and other issues.”

From the Nov. 15-21, 2006, issue

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