Seven days after creating a task force to study problems created by the city’s worst landlords, Mayor Jim Suttle on Wednesday unveiled a new group that’s supposed to expand city efforts to fight illegal guns.
The announcement was a follow-up to Suttle’s promises for a “brand new set of tools in our toolbox” to combat violent crime during his State of the City address in February. Yet local law enforcement agencies and community groups have already begun many programs to try to slow gun violence, which is responsible for most homicides in the metro area.
Suttle said such collaborative efforts would continue. “The goal of this task force is to help existing groups promote what is working and broaden our search for new methods of combating gun violence in our community,” Suttle said. “More can always be done, and this group’s mission is to make sure we have explored every avenue possible to get illegal guns and chronic offenders off of Omaha streets.”
The mayor said the new task force on guns will take 90 days to study “best practices” from other U.S. cities, ways to improve communication between city officials and law enforcement, and potential new laws to toughen penalties for crimes involving illegal firearms.