Letter to the Editor by Former Mayors

Former Mayors Mike Bell, Carty Finkbeiner, Donna Owens

We viewed the television program on “Gun Violence,” which Mayor Wade participated in, along with several Mayors and public safety officials. It was clear to us that violence is the number one concern of citizens living in urban American today, and each Mayor and Police Chief has their own version of how to curb the violence.

We have presented a 12-point plan to our city officials that our Mayor has complimented the citizens of our community for caring and working together to reduce the our burst of gun deaths Toledo has experienced over the past five years. Yet, there is still fear in the hearts and minds of most Toledoans that gun shots can explode at any time, no matter where you live in our city. Within the past two weeks another shooting and killing occurred in South Toledo, across from a popular church, and in a neighborhood that had been violence-free. Trilby Park, in West Toledo, experienced multiple gun shots directed at young persons that very same weekend.

The city of Toledo is offering enrichment and outreach programs to our young people, but summer jobs cleaning up our city and mentoring our youth have not been present in anywhere near the number needed. The State of Ohio is tracking drug dealers’ activities, and there should be far greater arrests of those drug dealers in the near future. Should we not have a “Drug Court” to move those dealing drugs to our youth much more swiftly though the judicial system?

Finally, we believe that our murder rate is lower because our police and our citizens are working together. Let’s increase the police foot patrols and the citizen-watch programs. Those two programs are vital to a safer, more peaceful Toledo.

Mike Bell

Donna Owens

Carty Finkbeiner