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Kapszukiewicz starts 2nd term with optimism and a call to action

The mayor says the city is already going after illegal guns, but Toledoans can't depend solely on elected leaders for solutions to every problem.

TOLEDO, Ohio — The new year brings a new outlook for Toledo's mayor and city council members.

Toledo's recently-elected political leaders were sworn in Monday afternoon during Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz's second inauguration.

"Days like today are always full of optimism and hope," Kapszukiewicz said. 

Those are the feelings, in spite of 2021 ending with a record number of homicides in the Glass City. 

"Everyone knows that what we've seen in terms of gun violence in the last year is unacceptable," Kapszukiewicz said. "And I think all of us have a role in doing something about that."

It's a role that the city's new deputy safety director, Angel Tucker, plans on tackling head-on.

Tucker is pointing to a partnership involving Toledo Police, Toledo Fire and Rescue and the Stop the Violence initiative. 

"I think instead of new strategies, what we're working on is we're tweaking strategies that are already working, finding out what's already implemented, what's working and what's not working," Tucker said.

Michele Grim, a new city councilwoman at-large, says fighting the violence is her number one priority. 

"I did have a 10-point gun violence reduction plan during my campaign. A couple of those things are secure storage, making sure that people go to lock up their firearms. Also, hospital-based intervention programs; also looking at where we can improve lighting," said Grim.

And although the future is uncertain, the mayor says it's also Toledo's responsibility to play a part. 

"Going after illegal guns is something we can do in the city and there's a role for city government and we're gonna do it," Kapszukiewicz said. "But part of what I wanted to emphasize today is that the citizens need not always look to their elected leaders for solutions to every problem."

He says in the new year, he wants Toledo to ask what it can do to make a difference and then turn it into an opportunity. 

In the fight against crime, Toledo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Romules Durant plans to have a "Call to Action" Tuesday morning. The press conference will outline the district's "Restart-Refocus-Respect" plan, centered around school safety, student discipline, accountability, family engagement and new programming for students.

That will be held at Waite High School at 11 a.m.

Leaders say it's a good chance to see the community stepping up. 

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