ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – St. Paul’s Police Chief says he has a plan to combat recent violence in his city.
So far in 2019, 28 people have been killed.
St. Paul police have been working around the clock trying to get ahead of the gun violence that has reached record numbers in the capitol city.
Officers are using a three-pronged approach, prevention, intervention and enforcement — all working hand in hand to attack the problem.
“Our approach in St. Paul is to make sure that we are aligning all of our available resources to work specifically on this very serious problem that’s occurring in our city right now,” Chief Todd Axtell said.
Chief Axtell says less than 1% of the city’s population is involved in the crime that is impacting the city.
“We need help from family members and friends, people who have relatives or friends that are carrying guns illegally to notify the police department of those activities. It could save that person’s life,” Chief Axtell said.
Stopping the flow of illegal guns is crucial.
“Stolen weapons are a big issue for us right now,” Chief Axtell explained. “We also find guns that are purchased legally and then sold to someone else, so again some of those straw purchases are a concern to us.”
Axtell says officers are unapologetically going after people who are carrying and using illegal guns.
“We know with precision who is most likely to be a victim of gun violence or a suspect of gun violence in our city,” Chief Axtell added.
Chief Axtell says it takes 30 to 40 officers to work each homicide. That costs the city $25,000 in overtime.
Mayor Melvin Carter says violence will not be accepted as the norm. He will hold the first of three community meetings Thursday to lead a discussion on new, proactive approaches to stopping gun violence. It’s at Central Baptist Church at 5:30 p.m. Click here for more information.