Friday, March 10, 2006

Police Chief Talks Teen Gun Violence - News - Police Chief Talks Teen Gun Violence A string of shootings involving local school-aged kids has left police and politicians searching for answers.
Two years mandatory time with a gun. Four years if the gun is fired, mandatory.

Next we need to hold parents accountable for the acts of the kids, so says Chief of Police, Costa.

Parenting is important, very important. But, it isn't going to help to threaten the parent and the kids. I've been engaged in parental advocate work, with some programs from the National Fatherhood groups. In this example (listen to the clip), Costa is barking the wrong tune up the wrong tree.

How can a coordinated attack on the problem occur -- with the community centers too -- when the centers have been closed or are dysfunctional?

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Police Chief Talks Teen Gun Violence

POSTED: 4:39 pm EST March 10, 2006
UPDATED: 6:33 pm EST March 10, 2006

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PITTSBURGH -- The following report by Paul Van Osdol first aired on Channel 4 Action News at 5 p.m. on March 9, 2006.

A string of shootings involving local school-aged kids has left police and politicians searching for answers.

Pittsburgh Police Chief Dominic Costa said a big reason for the upsurge in violence is that it's never been easier for kids to get guns.

"We're getting a variety of guns from assault weapons to sophisticated weapons police carry," Costa said.

Van Osdol: "Where are they getting them?"

Costa: "If we knew, we'd be getting them. If you ask a kid on the street, he can come back with a gun in an hour … $50 to $60, you wind up with a gun."

Podcast: Want to hear everything Costa had to say? Listen to Paul Van Osdol's complete interview. Click here.

On Friday, State Rep. Michael Diven proposed mandatory jail time for anyone caught with a gun within 100 yards of a school.

He also wants juveniles prosecuted as adults for having guns near schools.

"One of the things we want to do is send a clear-cut message that this is an adult crime and it will not be tolerated," Diven said.

Costa supports tougher laws and more cops walking a beat, but he said that alone is not enough.

"More cops on the street is not necessarily going to stop the shooting. It starts at home. I know when I was younger, I never got anything into the house without my mother knowing about it ... And that's what parents have to look at," Costa said.

Costa said parents whose kids are caught with guns should be prosecuted themselves.

Costa: "We need to hold parents accountable."

Van Osdol: "How do you do that?"

Costa: "Take them to court."

Van Osdol: "Arrest them?"

Costa: "The same way we do with truancy."