Police in Mississippi announce plan to reduce gun violence
Published 10:19 am Wednesday, February 12, 2020
TUPELO (AP) — An increase in gun violence prompted police in a Mississippi city to announce a plan to curb the number of homicides.
Tupelo Police Chief Bart Aguirre said officers will increase searches of individuals and conduct safety checkpoints to get guns off the streets, the Daily Journal reported Sunday.
There have been nine homicides in less than 11 months, in the city that averaged about two homicides a year over the last 25 years. There were eight homicides in 2017 and seven in 2019, the newspaper reported.
Police announced the plan just days after the shooting death of Tiara Dancer, 17. Authorities said she was an innocent bystander when she was struck by a stray bullet in a street fight Jan. 28.
“There are so many guns on the street and many of them are in the hands of youth,” Aguirre said. “There is no reason for kids 15, 16 or 17 to carry guns to school or to carry them in a peaceful community.”
The police chief said checkpoints and searches have helped get guns off the street in the past. More than 200 guns were seized by police in the first six months of 2017, he said.