City council members urge action against gun violence

City council members urge action against gun violence

TOLEDO (WTOL) - We’re over a week into the new year and already there have been five victims of gun violence in Toledo, including a 14-year-old Monday night and a 16-year-old killed just last week.

"I'm really getting tired of going to funerals and getting calls about these shootings and these young folks,” said Toledo City Councilman Larry Sykes.

One thing not on city council’s agenda Tuesday night or the approved 2019 city budget; ways to help put an end to the amount of gun violence in the city.

In the past four years, alone, more than 4,400 firearms have been booked by the Toledo Police Department.

Councilman Gary Johnson thinks advancements in TPD's technology will be a big help in making sure 2019 is nothing like 2018.

“We've got some analytical equipment coming in,” said Johnson. “We've got the gunshot detection equipment that's coming in, more cameras and other things that we feel will help to deter the violence.”

Back in November, Mayor Wade Kapszukiewcz told WTOL a new initiative geared towards parks and rec programs and education was to be announced; an initiative, he said, would help keep kids busy and out of trouble.

However, Councilman Larry Sykes disagrees.

“The individuals that are creating these violent acts are not going to the park,” said Sykes. “They're not looking for exercise or programs they can be a part of. These are individuals that are acting like they're bad. They're gang members. This has got to stop.”

Councilman Sykes said it needs to come down to holding not just those committing the crime accountable, but their family members, too.

“If we can't control the young folks who are doing this then we need to control or hold accountable the parents. There's a state law in Ohio - the Parent Responsibility - and we should look into it.”

After Tuesday night’s meeting, Councilman Sykes told WTOL he’s looking into bringing back a curfew policy along with other programs he’s suggested in the past.

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