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Boston Police Ask Clergy For Ideas To Stem Gun Violence

BPD Superintendent in Chief William Gross talks with reporters after meeting with Boston clergy. (Delores Handy/WBUR)closemore
BPD Superintendent in Chief William Gross talks with reporters after meeting with Boston clergy. (Delores Handy/WBUR)

Top commanders in the Boston Police Department met Wednesday with local clergy leaders to try to come up with ideas on how to stem a recent wave of fatal shootings.

Police Commissioner William Evans and other officials met at police headquarters with a group of about 25 members of the clergy in what Evans said was an effort to come up with ways to get illegal guns off the street and stop the violence that has erupted in the city in January.

"We need their help in getting the guns that are out there that we can't get," Evans said before the meeting.

Afterward, police Superintendent in Chief William Gross said the group talked about various ways to try to curb violence, including reaching out to young people and their families, instituting a gun buyback program, and encouraging people who are afraid to talk to police to turn over illegal guns to clergy leaders.

"We are a united front, a united front against the violence that's occurring in our streets," Gross said.

"This is not acceptable, what's going on," he added.

So far this year, there have been nine homicides in the city, compared to two last year at this time. Gross said police believe several of the shootings are related and not random.

"I'm going to suggest if you know where a gun is, you tell me," said the Rev. Richard Conway of St. Peter's church in Dorchester. "I'll get rid of the gun - no questions asked."

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