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Brown to attend Washington mayoral summit on guns

Mayors from across the nation will meet Tuesday in Washington, D.C., to discuss ways to combat illegal guns, and Buffalo's top elected official will participate in the summit.

Mayor Byron W. Brown is convinced gun violence can be reduced if cities forge a coordinated strategy, then snare federal support for various initiatives. Brown was among 15 members who took part in the first summit last spring. Since then, the group that calls itself Mayors Against Illegal Guns has grown to more than 120 members.

During the April summit in New York City, mayors shared tactics that target gun violence, including the use of surveillance cameras at crime hot spots.

Brown recently committed his administration to installing mobile cameras in neighborhoods and commercial strips, hopefully by fall. Buffalo law enforcers recently traveled to Chicago to see how the city has used high-tech cameras to deter crime and catch offenders. Brown said some cities are using cameras that are sensitive to the sound of gunfire and zero-in on spots where weapons are discharged.

The city also has plans to initiate a gun buyback program to try to get illegal weapons off the streets.

Other strategies that mayors have been discussing include creating databases that would make it easier for municipalities to share gun trace data, and social services programs that would try to provide early detection of problematic behavior among young people.

Part of Tuesday's summit will see the coalition share its long-term goals with members of Congress -- an early step in attempting to secure federal support.

"We all know this is a national problem that affects our cities in various ways," Brown said. "But through a collective, coordinated effort, I am confident we can share and borrow best practices that will assist our individual law enforcement activities."


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