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Mayor Walsh convenes New England Mayors, Police Chiefs, advocates to discuss gun safety

Regional partners launch four innovative pilot programs aimed to reduce gun violence

BOSTON - Thursday, August 10, 2017 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans today convened mayors, police chiefs, law enforcement agents and policy experts from across New England to discuss gun violence prevention strategies and safety initiatives. Representatives from more than 20 cities gathered in Roxbury to share ideas and best practices aimed at reducing violence by preventing the illegal flow and use of guns.
"We know that in Boston and throughout New England, one illegal gun is too many. Together, we will continue to make progress on taking illegal guns off our streets, making each and every city and town safer," said Mayor Walsh. "This summit reflected our shared determination to turn regional dialogues into action, and we will keep working with our partners to end gun violence in our neighborhoods."
During the summit, Mayor Walsh joined Casey Woods, Executive Director of Arms With Ethics, to announce the launch of four pilot programs in Boston, MA; Burlington, VT; Hartford, CT; and Worcester, MA. With funding from The Boston Foundation, Arms With Ethics has been leading a multi-city pilot planning initiative developing city-specific concepts focused on preventing gun theft, the illegal flow of guns, and unintended access to guns. These four initiatives include:
  • Boston, MA: Launching a web-based guide to gun ownership in the City to proactively engage legal gun owners as partners in public safety efforts. The Boston Police Department will continue to expand on these resources, providing additional outreach materials regarding legal and safe gun ownership in the city.
  • Burlington, VT: Convening regional law enforcement leaders to explore an innovative regional data-sharing initiative on crime gun trace data - the first of its kind.
  • Hartford, CT: Addressing an increase in gun thefts through proactive outreach to Hartford pistol permit holders, as well as longer-term research on evidence-based gun theft prevention programs.
  • Worcester, MA: Working with law enforcement, gun dealers, and the medical community to better support gun owners facing a mental health or addiction crisis in the home.
These pilot projects translate the regional information-sharing and collaboration generated by previous New England Regional Gun Summits into immediate, concrete action. Each of the City pilot plans are intended to be scalable and adaptable based on the individual needs of cities across New England.
As law enforcement agencies around the region increasingly recover secondhand firearms associated with crimes, these summits help strengthen ongoing regional collaboration regarding illegal firearm use, with a goal of reducing violence and trafficking within New England. This marks the Fourth Annual New England Gun Summit, following three others; two that were previously hosted by Mayor Walsh in April 2014 and November 2015 in Boston, and one that was hosted in Providence, RI by Mayor Jorge Elorza in April 2016.
"The New England Regional Gun Violence Summit is a powerful example of how local leadership and resources can come together to address an important issue that is affecting the safety of American families," said Casey Woods, Executive Director of Arms with Ethics. "Arms with Ethics is proud to be part of this innovative effort, and we would like to thank our partners in Boston, Hartford, Worcester and Burlington for their steadfast leadership and support as we work together to prevent gun violence. "
"We believe that working together to share our crime, gun, and other data will help us fight gun trafficking and other crimes," said Deputy Chief Shawn Burke from the Burlington Vermont Police Department. "We are excited to be joining with other New England cities in the regional working group announced today."
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