By Fletcher Word
Sojourner’s Truth Reporter
Mayoral candidate Jan Scotland weighed in on the current gun violence epidemic plaguing the city of Toledo and offered a law-and-order platform to start the process of “Stemming the tide of crime and violence in Toledo before it’s too late.”
During a press conference on Thursday, August 12 near the St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, and accompanying by members of that church and other clergy, Scotland took issue with Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz September 2020 pronouncement that “the City of Toledo is planning an initiative aimed at reducing gun violence be addressing is as a public health issue.”
Scotland assailed the mayor’s attempt to address “root issues” of crime while the community endures a unprecedented wave of Murders and violent crime.”
In 2020, there were 61 homicides in Toledo an increase of 62 percent over the previous year. The city is on pace to surpass that amount in 2021.
Scotland introduced a series of police initiatives to meet the violence crisis including showing support by: demonstrating support for police officers; requesting councilmembers to show their support; providing officers with the training and resources to deal with new challenges; helping the community understand their role in improving their relationship ither police officers; making police officers familiar with citizens of every district; requesting district councilmembers to join in forging trust of officers within their districts; ensuring that district councilmembers convey the magnitude of the violence problem to their constituents; have the mayor and councilmembers do ride-alongs with officers so they understand the split decisions that officers have to make.
He also called for an action plan that includes: assigning detectives to areas that have citizens with similar backgrounds; making sure that detectives determine the types of individuals who are violence prone; reinstall undercover officers; check for outstanding warrants to detain those individuals; prioritize the focus of force; encourage judges and prosecutors to keep those with warrants off the streets; work with police unions to reach full force in four years; demonstrate a zero tolerance approach to offenders.
Acknowledging that these police initiatives constitute just the law and order portion of an overall approach to dealing with violence, Scotland said he will be announcing his steps to work with Toledo’s youth to focus on underlying issues.