ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - Hundreds of people turned out for a second community listening session in St. Paul Tuesday night to talk about solutions to end gun violence plaguing the city.
Mayor Melvin Carter hosted the meetings and is pledging to residents to use their ideas in an urgent plan that he’ll submit to the city council soon to reduce the number of deadly shootings.
The crowd at Rice Recreation Center was diverse, with people from all over the city sitting down with police, fire and other community leaders to hold discussions that tried to figure out what’s driving the surge in gun violence.
Like last week’s meeting, people broke down into small groups and talked about what brought them there. They talked about experiences and ideas on how to solve the violence problem.
Some tables had police officers, firefighters and other first responders sitting among residents as well as other city and county leaders listening in.
Carter committed to the people in attendance that he will include their suggestions for new policies in a supplemental budget that will be handed over to the city council by the end of November.
When asked if he would take another look at programs that focus on deterrents or group violence intervention initiatives like those that have been used in other cities, he said, “When we do it again, we do it on the basis of building on what we’ve learned—building on the experiences of what we’ve had—and in a way that tailors the national models to what we know works and what may not work right here in St. Paul.”
Carter says he won’t give specifics yet on numbers to his supplemental budget, like how many officers could be added.
Recently, federal authorities handed over several St. Paul officers back to the streets to help with resources.
There is one more listening session on Saturday at 1 p.m.