President Biden is announcing new steps to control gun violence as crime surges in the nation's cities. The White House says homicides rose 30 percent last year, a trend the president called unacceptable. (File image of 6th Street in Downtown Austin: CBS Austin)
President Biden is announcing new steps to control gun violence as crime surges in the nation's cities. The White House says homicides rose 30 percent last year, a trend the president called unacceptable.
The partnership launched Wednesday is unique because money from the federal government often comes with specific instructions on what to do with it. This time the feds are asking local governments to innovate and come up with a community violence intervention that works for them.
Here in Austin, the mass shooting on Sixth Street a dozen days ago is pushing the issue of violent crime to the forefront. Recently addressing Austin’s newest class of police cadets, Interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon explains, “What we're seeing is an increase in gun crime, in gun violence.”
With a long, hot summer ahead, the White House just announced a new plan to reduce violence.
And Austin's shooting was just one of several across America that weekend in this surge. With a long, hot summer ahead, the White House just announced a new plan to reduce violence. The comprehensive plan includes the following strategies:
That's where Austin comes in. The White House says Austin is among 15 metros across the country putting some of their American Rescue Plan money behind local efforts to curb gun violence. Austin Mayor Steve Adler adds, “And I fully expect the federal government to make some additional funding and resources available to the 15 cities so that we're able to develop new practices and new ways of keeping cities safer."
But money doesn’t appear to be the silver bullet to win this battle. Adler says, “There are cities like Houston that have put a lot more money into hiring more officers yet they're dealing with the same challenge we are."
What the feds get out of this new crime-fighting effort is personal knowledge of the problems on the streets. Shani Buggs is an associate professor at UC-Davis and a gun violence expert. She says, “People that are most impacted by gun violence have solutions to the problem. They know what is needed to repair the harms, to heal individuals and families."