Earlier today, the St. Louis Board of Commissioners failed to approve a request by St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom to fund a gun buy-back program. Gun buy-backs in St. Louis and other cities have resulted in the surrender of thousands of weapons to the police over the years.
Because the Police Board meeting went longer than scheduled, I had already left the meeting on other City business by the time several non-controversial (I thought!) agenda items were discussed. Some police commissioners voted to deny the request.
Reducing gun violence is one of Chief Isom’s — and the City’s — top priorities and challenges. Major Adkins had prepared a strong, reasoned, logical case that a gun buyback program would help. I strongly believe that easy access to guns by criminals is one of the biggest problems facing some of our neighborhoods. I have assured Chief Isom this afternoon that the Police Board will consider this item again and that, when it does, I will vote in the affirmative.
The Board’s failure to approve the chief’s gun buy-back proposal surprised and disappointed me. There are plenty of reasons to support the City having its own police department. I am adding today’s vote to my list.