tv U.S. Conference of Mayors Discussion on Law Enforcement Initiatives CSPAN January 21, 2022 4:49pm-5:43pm EST
>> next, associate attorney general gupta and charles ramsey, former police chief for washington, d.c. and philadelphia, join mayors from around the country for a u.s. conference of mayors discussion on law enforcement initiatives and reforms. this runs 50 minutes. >> we're back. we're turning it over to --
>> a lot of our departments recover a lot of illegally obtained firearms that are coming from across state lines. they're coming to our communities through any number of places. as we discussed thus far there are certainly substantial problems and truly substantial national problems. part of what i want to discuss today, and vanita will help, are what are the spaces for federal collaboration? we know we can't do it alone we need to make sure we're not only looking at federal collaboration in terms of enforcement dollars and officers. but also in programmatic efforts that make long-term transformational change. it can't just be 50 law enforcement officers one summer. to address a generational problem. that's high we're a team on this conversation with all of you. you didn't come here to listen to the mayor of kansas city.
we got a late start. we're going to hear from you. >> it's great to be here. i love to meet with the u.s. conference of mayors. thank you mayor lightfoot and mayor lucas for your leadership. i want to congratulate mayor suarez on his inauguration as president of the u.s. conference of mayor. i'm deliked to be here with all of you this evening. i often say being a mayor is one of the hardest jobs in the country. you are on the frontlines of some of our in addition's most complex problems and the decisions you're making every day have an immediate impact on real people's lives and real communities. there's no question that a -- that over the last few years you have faced unprecedented challenges, between the pandemic, large-scale demonstrations for racial justices in your community a rise in hate crimes and gun
violence, public safety as you all know is a top priority for the department of justice. we have dedicated substantial resources to supporting our state and local partners as they investigate and prosecute violent crimes. but experience and research has taught us that enforcement alone is not enough to prevent crime. mayor lightfoot has alluded to that already. in may, the attorney general who you're going to be hearing from i think on friday, in may the attorney general announced a comprehensive strategy to reduce violent crimes and the department had vigorous lawence forcement assistance, financial support to fight violent crimes, strengthen communities and build police-community trust. last year the department awarded over $4 billion in grants including $6 billion last month to support a wide range of programs across the country.
president biden requested $7 billion for the departments in f.y.2022. i want to talk about the department's highest priorities, gun violence and hate crimes. hate crimes is top of mind from the events this weekend. hate crime are insidious. they tsao fear across entire communities they polarize us, undermine the principles which our democracy is built on. you all know that instances of hate crimes have surged in the past few years. can you all hear me ok? they have been enhancing the efforts of state and local governments. they have enhanced addressing at the top levels an increased resources for and focus on hate
crime prevention across all 56 bureaus. last weekend's attack in kohl leeville, texas, i want to -- in colleyville, texas, i want to emphasize we're protecting people of all faiths the department vigorously prosecutes hate crimes. we provide training and consultation services to faith organizations and communities to strengthen community relations and protect houses of worship we also have been elevating grant training to provide security training for house us of worship across the country. of course getting to the point we can talk about, the department has been focused on the top priorities on preventing
firearm traffickers from providing weapons to people pevesly convicted -- previously convicted. the attorney general announced strike forces consist og teams with the u.s. attorney, ample t.f. and state and local partners to disrupt illegal gun networks that bring gun into chicago, new york, los angeles, san francisco bay area, and washington, d.c. we're also using our rule making authority to strengthen our responses to gun violence. we've been proposing new rules to close loopholes on ghost guns and the use of accessories to convert guns into assault rifles to keep guns out of the hndz of those seeking to avoid background checks. partnerships between federal, state and local law enforcement are key to that. we have programs including the
jag program and smart policing initiative that increase state and local capacity by helping jurisdictions hire personnel, buy equipment, update technology, protect schools, reduce gun vinls and implement innovative solutions to efficiently tackle crime problems. in addition to supplying resources they need and we know of massive staff shortages, we awarded $140 million to the program to enable 183 departments to hire over 1,000 additional officers. we're looking to increase that substantially next year. we know that the lion's share of violent crime reduction is shouldered by our state and local and tribal and territorial partners and the partnership we have we know is necessary, we have to scale up successful crime intervention and violence intervention programs. one of the department's priorities right now for
reducing violent crimes is community based violence intervention programs. i look forward to hearing from you all about how your jurisdictions are engaging in that. as many have seen firsthand, community-based violence intervention focuses on reducing violent crime by establishing a relationship between community leaders, service prod vieders and people at the center of gun violence in local communities. we rely on tribal messengers at highest risk of perpetrating or becoming victims of violence. cities and towns across the country have been developing innovative strategies as effective complements to enforcement of criminal law. another cornerstone, and i welcome this conversation as well, about your experiences with us, there's no question that crime prevention relies on the he yit macy of law enforcement in the eye os they have communities they serve. when residents talk to police,
they are more likely to report crimes, to serve as witnesses, to cooperate with investigators. trust and he yit macy is not only necessary it honors the core values of fairness and dignity for all. the department's commitment to protecting civil rights and ensuring public safety is reflected in our building. to take one example the department supports evidence-based programs that better respond to people with co-occurring substance use. we have been hearing from years, prosecutors, about that we have to be able to support behavioral health programs in communities so we can treat and not jail those in crisis whenever possible. to protect officer safety, community safety. to promote those efforts, the expect launched a new initiative connect and protect that
supports law enforcement health system collaboration for justice involving people with mental illness and co-occurring substance use. by providing community-based treatment for can more effectively break out they have cycle of arrest and incarceration for the most vulnerable in our society and refocus criminal justice resources. we may also save lives in the process. and i -- you all are helping to lead on some of those effective evidence-based programs and we want to be able to scale those up. we are also providing prompt technical assistance to jurisdictions implementing different types of law enforcement reform and community-based programs, whether they receive that from the department or not. the department has a collaborative reform initiative, technical assistance center, with a number of different law enforcement agencies are engaged with to provide a wide range of technical assistance services to law enforcement agencies, build
reform and trust while keeping communities safe. a central perk, we know morale is low, they've been strained on number any number of fronts and law enforcement is important to the work we need to do together. we have to ensure police officers have the services they need and the stigma on reporting mental health issues -- fouad -- suicide on the rise for police officers, the stress and trauma of their jobs -- [indiscernible] -- we need to be collectively addressing that. we increased our grant funding in the millions to support and improve law enforcement access to mental health and wellness services and we've been able to funding but are hoping to increase that soon as well. several of you are also aware of
the civil enforcement authority we have through our private practice investigations that we have in 15 jurisdictions around the country. in september i issued a memo establishing a set of principles surrounding the use of the monitors in those consent decrees to make sure that they are efficient, effective, compliant in the most effective way possible and transparent to the court and the public and the jurisdiction they're in. we're also working right now on an initiative that is going to be a service to the field for law enforcement and mayors, an initiative that's abrogating all of the best practices and learning from our dissent decreases from research to develop and consolidate best practices in communities so that you may never have a private practice investigation and you have -- are able to access
technical assistance as needed. finally, the department is developing resources and best practices about civil unrest. one of my first meetings with the conference of mayors on the job, i heard from many of you about the incredible challenges of the summer of 2020 and we saw amazing policing and policing -- [indiscernible] -- around the policing of mass demonstrations. we've been doing meetings for cities with mayors and chiefs and community activists. we're going to be putting out best practices drawing from that to support your efforts in maintaining public safety, protecting people's first amendment rights, and we hope that that will be asserted. i hope all other resolutions that the department has as a community relations service that we're adding, provides
facilitation, meetation and training services -- mediations and training services -- [indiscernible] -- i just wanted to thank you again for your leadership, your service. and i hope that we will find even more ways for the department to work with all of you in the difficult jobs do you in your communities. thank you. >> thank you. that's very, very thoughtful. i'm sure folks have a lot of questions -- [indiscernible] -- that you talk about. let me start with the discussions, one of the issues that we're facing. it was -- [indiscernible] -- i feel like every year i say this is the hardest time to be a police officer and then it gets even harder. and harder. year after year. so let me start with chuck ramsey. chuck, what's your perspective
on what things we can be doing at the local level to help support our police while holding them constitutional? i think when you see survey after survey, people don't want less police, particularly not in this difficult time. but they want the police to do their jobs in a way that's constitutional and respectful and a lot of the narrative around some police unions in particular, you're handcuffing us and not allowing us to do our jobs. give us your perspective on what we do as mayors to strike that balance. mr. ramsey: thank you, mayor. first of all, don't fall into that trap of i can't do my job because of x, y and z. it's not that people -- people want constitutional policing, they want good policing. and what they don't want is abuse. and one of the dangers here now, especially if times of rising crime, and someone mentioned that earlier, it goes up, comes down, it goes up, comes down.
but when it's up, there are people in your own communities that will be calling, bring back stop and frisk, do this, do that. you can't -- you just can't give into that sort of thing. good, solid policing is what is needed. it has to be an effort on the part of the entire city government. i stopped making public safety in the traditional term of police, fire, emergency management and so forth. i think it's community safety now. because it goes much broader than just thinking about public safety. you think about mental health and poverty and homelessness and all those different things that really make a community safe. you have the power, in fact you're the only ones who have power to bring these agencies together and really create a plan that is sustainable and hold people's feet to the fire. this is not just a the police
issuing, it goes beyond policing. it's not the only solution. so you have the power to do that as mayors. i think if we all sit down and really kind of talk this through and really come up with -- and each time will be different because each city is different, but i really do think that's the approach that needs to take. this is a tremendous opportunity for people who want to get into policing. it's a tough job. it's always been a tough job. it has been. but a tremendous opportunity because now you can actually see change happening. it's an exciting time, in my opinion. i've spent 47 years in active service as a police officer. i would do it all over again in a heartbeat. if i had the opportunity. too damn old now. [laughter] but i would. i would. i love the profession. there's a lot of work that we need to do, there's no question about it. but we have to sell the positive
part because you make a difference. you're mayors because you make a difference in communities. cops make a difference too. every interaction, they're making a difference in somebody's life. and that's worth it. and that's what we have to really kind of get across when we're recruiting. one last thing, you're short of police officers. do not sacrifice quality and background checks and everything else. because i'd rather have fewer police officers and have the right cops than have more cops and have guys that -- [indiscernible] -- all the time because they're always doing something that they have no business doing. so don't compromise. don't compromise on that. it's too important. because think about it. you're stuck with them for the next 20, 30 years. you want to get it right. >> that's a really, really great point. because all of us i think are scrambling, seeing challenges with filling up our recruiting classes, but taking shortcuts, you're going to pay for that
down the road. let me take a question in a slightly different way. one of the things that frankly as an employer i think about is how we reach millennials. continual question. that question is really i think challenging when you're talking about law enforcement. because it's a different breed of young people that are coming into the profession now. what are you seeing from your perspective and what tips can you give us to help us in recruiting efforts and also supporting our police? >> thanks, mayor. and good to see you. i had the opportunity to work with her a number of years ago in the chicago police department. great to see you. before i answer that, i just want to shoutout to anita gupta. if you listened to her speech, she really touched on a number of things i think are really important. she talked about guns, she talked about violence, she talked about mor, ale. she talked about -- morale. she talked about restoring public trust wecht did a survey
of all of our police chiefs. that was the number one criteria they've done. what's the most important thing that keeps them up at night and it's restoring public trust. and she mentioned something about monitoring, about better control of monitoring. we've been watching that for years. she knows this issue. she's doing something. so just a little shoutout that we have someone that's hearing us. let me ask you all a question, mayors, raise your hand if you're having trouble hiring police officers. ok. raise your hand if you're not having trouble hiring police officers. ok. let me hear from the two mayors who said they're not having trouble. what are you doing right? because this is the number one issue that keeps mayors and police chiefs up. tell us what you're doing, the one or two things that's made a difference. what cities are you from?
>> i don't know. we've had no trouble recruiting folks. i guess something that we have done for a while is we made an effort, before my time, maybe 10, 15 years ago, that we seriously needed to diversify our force. so there's been a longstanding partnership and relationship between the police department and the police chief and community leaders, doing a lot of proactive outreach to minority communities, getting them to apply. and we've carried that forward during my term and it's been really successful. we've had no shortage of people applying. >> ok, how about you? >> i'm from york, pennsylvania. i only have 100 police officers. we have been also working very much, when i came into office four years ago, we were 91% white males. and we are now down to 80% and we're working in that direction. we have personal -- we were also working in a consortium with six
or seven different police departments. so testing would go through all of these different groups. now we've gone on our own and people that want to work for us come directly to us and then we maintain really good communication with them and kind of also build them up. the final thing i'm really excited about that hasn't started yet, we started a public safety academy in our city high school. >> right. >> but you still have that three-year gap between 18 and 21 when they can become police officers. so we've started a police cadet program, basically an internship where we're paying the young people to be unarmed police folks in the community so they can build up community trust for three years and trust with the other officers before they're ever given the honor -- >> we call that going upstream. chuck ramsey, my friend here, he was like an 18-year-old kid in
chicago and he's working in a grocery store and two cops come in and ask him, what do you want to be in the next five years? if they hadn't come into that grocery store, he wouldn't be sitting next to me. so that's going upstream. that's some of the effective things the departments are doing. departments are also looking at, you know, what do we have to do to intent is advise? like baltimore -- incentivize? like baltimore, mayors, baltimore is looking at, you know, how do we get good people and help them with education? right? >> today actually, sir. we did, got it approved. >> and then baltimore, if i'm not mistaken, you say things like, you know, make a difference, be the change. other cities are not doing that. other cities are going in the other direction which is, what do we have to do to get more people to apply. i think chuck ramsey is lootly right you appeal to people's better instincts. you make it more selective to
get in. some places go in the other direction. won't mention the citys but instead of 120 credits, you just have to have a high school education. we're talking about life and death decisions. and some cities are making a requirement that you be at least 22, 23. i think that makes a lot of sense. you have a 20-year-old kid making life or death split-second decisions and you've got chaos in your city for the next couple of years. so, incentivizing cadet programs, going upstream, and mayors are really -- the country i feel like is changing now. i feel like mayors are really getting it. maybe before some people in washington are. and i think this issue is going to be huge. and i think this administration i think is understanding that. i think this is the biggest challenges. who are goinger to police officers of the future? >> we didn't call on jane who
raised her hand. you don't count. first of all, you're in florida. and promising a photograph with the trophy with tom brady doesn't count. you want to weigh in on this question? [laughter] >> sure. i'll very briefly. i think a lot of it may not be the answer people want to hear but it's the organizational reputation that -- if your organization is looked upon as being a great law enforcement agency, people are going to want to work there and they're going to want to try to get in. the best recruiters you have are other officers, just like -- and we -- anybody who is a police officer can tell 100 stories of someone who walked in and said, hey, you have ever thought about law enforcement and a lot of it is if you can see it, you can be it. so we have youth academies where we cultivate through high school. we have scholarships, scholarship academies for
individuals to diversify that couldn't aforward to go through the police -- afford to go through the police academy. teaching at universities, going and lecturing, did i it several times every year and every university to go and talk to the students. again, if they can see it, they can be it. there are a lot of steps that can be taken. but i agree wholeheartedly with everything both chuck and chuck said. you cannot lower your standards, period. we go through about 100 applicants for every two to four hires. difficult to be a police officer and it should always be difficult to be a police officer. >> thank you, jane. i think that's helpful. let me -- [indiscernible] -- let me go to mayor lucas. and talk about the issue that's top of mind for many of us. the city like chicago in a consent decree, many others on the front lines, what are you
seeing in terms of police reform and accountability, as well as balancing that with criminal justice reform? >> the united states attorney office is our best friend. we've had a problem -- [indiscernible] -- partner with us and we got our local u.s. attorney to go to meetings. the sweet spot is convicted felons and there are a lot of people, they might be doing other things, and we might not take care of that but we work real hard to get on possession. we put some of the most violent, violent criminals away in federal prison for 10, 20, 30 years. they're off the streets and our violent crime did that. so we're locking up the right people.
one of the things that -- somebody touched on a while ago about drugs. we have an amnesty program here. where someone could just walk into the police department and say, look, i just can't live like this anymore. i'm an addict. and here's high dope or whatever, if they have it on them. we'll take them to rehab. no cost. and so that's worked out real well. we have a gentleman that walked in one day and i told this story to the mayor of austin and they started doing things. guy walked in and said, look, i'm not a thief and i feel like i'm about to rob someone and i need some help so we took him and helped him out. i told the mayor that thank and he said, i want to do that. so we're doing a lot of the right things. but we just have the a.t.f. came to us and said, look, we've got about 25 -- [indiscernible] -- that aren't doing anything.
if you want them, we can give them to you for about three or four months while you hire more police officers to deal with that violent crime. and one of the things that -- i'm sure all the mayors in here -- [indiscernible] -- taking people off of one unit to deal with something else and then that goes up and you're just moving people around. once you deal with that, you have to stay on it and stay on it and stay on it. but it ain't going away. it might go up or down. but you just have to focus on it and deal with it each and every day. but congratulations -- [indiscernible] -- down in ocala. they're just wonderful. give more money. [laughter] >> i want to make sure because we're talking not just about response to have criminal issues, but also responses to reform conversation going on in our country. so we certainly want to hear
more comments, but how are you balancing it right now? and as we're facing a number of situations where you have folks that want to have better constitutional policing, as chief ramsey does, but also want to make sure that violent offenses are reduced in their communities. so we welcome that discussion from you and i'll just go to the end here. yes, sir. >> as a former prosecutor as well, as i listen to this conversation, i think that's what robert peelle, the father of modern day policing, -- [indiscernible] -- our p.p.o. said the police are the public, the public are the police with the police being only members of society -- the only members that are paid to do what's counted upon every citizen. i think it's really important to think about that because we
often put all of the responsibility on our law enforcement and we need to get up to working together with our communities. we used to have things like the weed and seed initiatives. we used to have the regional community policing institutes where we were training the police right together with our citizens. you talked about building that long-term trust. to me it's all about building the relationships, the partner shrntion the friendship, the mentorships. because if we're all talking together and we're making difficult people into different people where they're on our side, a lot more gets done and a lot less violence happens. one of the things that we've been working on is a camp working with all of our churches. a camp for kids whose parents have been incarcerated. and kids pay nothing.
they go zip lining, they go surfing, they go -- they do something, the churches have a theme each day. first day is trust. we know these kids come from homes where there's no trust. second day is love. because oftentimes no love in the house. third day is forgiveness because -- and fourth day is hope. because if you don't have hope, you don't have a prayer. we work with inmates, we work with people in the community and i'm not talking about hugging a thug. although there's been a lot of hugging there. but looking at those people and saying, you're valuable. it's investing in our kids because those kids are the same kids that if you don't do anything, over 50% of the kids of incarcerated parents are going to end up in the criminal justice system. and we keep looking at this is the police. we as mayors can bring everybody
else to the table. but oftentimes we as mayors say, and we as a community say, that's the police's job. let's focus on the police. i think we've gotten away from a lot of those community policing initiatives and started thinking about, you know, how do we get more cops to do more enforcement. >> let me just do this for the sakele of argument. so it stays an interesting conversation. i don't know the nature of a police union or fraternal order in your community. but for many of us who have engaged in efforts to have these additional programs, they cost money. and sometimes there's a very clear debate between do you want to invest in other program efforts, do you want to invest in more law enforcement
officers, pure rank and file, and how you have looked to reconcile that, knowing that in some ways there's a natural tension? >> the answer to that is we're never going to arrest our way out of that. we've worked together with the police and i think -- officers have been community police officers, they'll often tell you it's the most satisfying position that they've had in the department. and those officers, luckily for places in hawaii, those officers have moved up all the way to the upper limits and they've started working in some of those positions. for our union, the head of my union for the whole state was one of my community police officers. they get it. >> you're lucky. [talking simultaneously] >> thank you so much. i know we have -- [indiscernible] -- i have a note that mayor keller wanted to chime in and then we'll come
back around. >> i just want to appreciate you. i wish the world was like you describe it. unfortunately it's in albuquerque, new mexico. i think we've given up on that aproaf. what we're saying is -- approach. what we're saying is we ask for officers to do too much. at some point they just can't be everything. they can't be the behavioral health specialist, they can't be the mental health specialist, they can't be the home sness specialist. and we are under a consent decrease and rightfully so. so when you talk about that balance and operationallizing it, we are trying. we have a third department that responds to 911. it's a full department. the community safety department. it's got about 40 social workers, it's just starting out. there's about $10 million in funds. so we just built a whole new way to address 20% of our 911 calls. but i think i do just want to ask a quick question to anita
while she's here. in the d.o. jvment. because for -- d.o.j. because for those of us trying to balance the response and a consent decrease, the memo that came out was so refreshing about how every city is different. i'm just kind of curious, what's the next step for cities looking ordealing with this and also for what the d.o.j. wants to take us with balancing reform? >> you know, it's a -- i always say this very intentionally, that every city is different, the demographics are different, the challenges are different. it's a mistake for the justice department to view any particular jurisdiction or to view these problems as having cooky cutter solutions. the memo you're referring to is the monitor memo that i put out back in -- you know, the goal of that really was to be able to provide some consistency, transparency, bench marks, training for monitors and
federal judges, the approach on violent crime that the attorney general announced last may and this is to get to your other question, was very intentionally going to let chuck ramsey was saying which is not to jt just have it be a return to the battle days, law enforcement-only strategy, but to recognize inherently how important, and it sounds like a platitude but it's real, that police-community trust is in the fight against violent crime. and to have targeted solutions and to be able to have investments that are going to support community-based programs, behavioral health programs, but also that are supporting enforcement where that's needed in targeted ways and when cities have consent decrees, creating the space for both supporting law enforcement best practices and getting constitutional policing going, but also supporting community-based programs that are going to take some of the problems, we've put all these
problems at the feet of police for the last several decades and expected police to have all the answers to these varying social problems and you'll hear it from the f.o.p. and you'll hear it from police chiefs and from every one of us here. what is it, it isn't going to be a one size fits all and the justice department funding stream helps support a broad array of interventions. consent decrees are focused on constitutional policing. but we could talk to mayor scott about baltimore where the consent decree has helped to support a lot of behavioral health programs, kind of out of recognition that we were just asking d.t.d., as we have been in cities around the country, just asking officers to take -- to do everything. and so there isn't an easy answer but the goal for the justice department is recognizing just how intertwined the fight for public safety is with police-community trust as well. >> thank you. we'll go to you, ma'am, and then mayor scott
>> just very quickly. as you've said many times, right, culture eats policy for dinner, lunch, i don't know. sometimes you mix it up. we had a real culture problem and that culture problem has been exacerbated by the rise in crime. because you have those who do think that stop and frisk is the way to go and you just throw a bunch of kids up against a brick wall and we're going to end problems. and they have been emboldened. not just among the rank and file. the leadership in our police department is absolutely, you know, they're saying exactly what you're saying but i have a sheriff who send as very different message and comes into the city and does law enforcement in the city and i have others who have this idea of how things worked and so i don't expect an answer in the time that we have. but for those of us who weren't in law enforcement, i'm a mayor that doesn't come from law enforcement, changing that
culture and trying to build those relationships within a police department that is very fractured and where some voices are starting to win out over those who want to be on that path of where we were. we were one of the top cities recognized by the obama administration for what we were doing with community policing and our police department. i'm putting it out there. that bat thele is happening -- battle is happening right now and i'm worried that we are at risk of losing it. >> ky just jump in on that? you have to stay the course. we're going through exactly the same thing in the city of chicago. from we are reversing decades of a lot of bad culture, a lot of things that protected the status quo of policing that was extraordinarily abusive. to residents and particularly residents of color. we have a very strong police
chief. doing just fine. but he has a tiger by the tail because he's trying to move around and incentivize our officers and, frankly, our command staff to think about their jobs primarily as protecting residents and not just doing things like -- that serves them but doesn't serve the people. so it is very difficult and very difficult -- i've had the second largest police force in the country. he's forcing officers to do -- talk with community contacts, not just drive-byes, but get out of your car, talk to resident, build relationships with the community. there are people who absolutely hate it and the sniping is real. but if you know you've got the right plan, you've got to be strong, you've got to stay the course and you've got to support your chief if you're aligned
with them on what needs to happen to improve the quality of life that legislatesy of the police -- legitimacy of the police. we significantly improved our homicide clearance rate because people are trusting our police in a way that they haven't before. you can't get there without the community on your side. period, full stop. got to make sure that every officer down to the beat recognizes that helping the community as your partner is your most powerful tool. >> mayor scott? >> i couldn't agree more. i'll just say this. for all those who want to, as chuck said earlier, go back to the days of zero tolerance and go back to the early 1990's, i think that we have -- for me and for us in baltimore, i always remind everyone that i'm the first mayor that had to live through it all. right? it's different when you had to dodge the bullets and get sat down just because you were breathing while black outside in the curb in the rain. it didn't work the first time. why would we go back to doing it? right? we had 300 murders in my city
when we had zero tolerance and stop and fris -- frisk. the only time we didn't have it is when we didn't do that. about it's having that balanced approached. yes, the reality is that for far too long we looked at police in our country as a -- you don't like, it you call 911 and the police come. we're blessed for consent decree, thank you for your work, chuck ramsey is one of our monitors, for us to be if a position where we're really evolving as a city. where we're looking at public safety as a public health issue. where i'm saying that every agency is responsible for public safety. and we are doing things like health calls. the first conversation i had with any human being about diverting 911 cause away from police to behavioral health was actually a police commander who said to me, brandon, because him
and i are friends, i am the commander of the the police district that has johns hopkins hospital in it. why in the hell am i sending police officers out to deal with this person having a behavioral health issue or substantive abuse issue, when the best medical people in the world are right down the street? we have to evolve. but as mayors i think it's really going to help have to take us to have a lot of courage. because people are going to demand that we go back to it and we have to stick to it because it's the right thing to do. yes, the reality is it's going to cost some of us our jobs. people are going to get mad. but at the end of the day, when the book is written about what we did in our time, this can be the time when we change the way this country views public safety and do things in a different and more holistic way because we can do things. it's not an either/or. my grandmother, rest her soul, never said that she wanted people to not be arrested for murder. right? she said she didn't want me to get knocked upside the head
every time i went outside the house. that's what she said. we can do both. we can expand as we're doing now, growing our community violence intervention from 10 so-to-30 staff. while at the same time alleviating things from our police department so that they have time to do that proactive work and they're doing it in a constitutional way. like in chicago with mayor lightfoot, we're increasing our homicide clear rate by -- clearance rate by 6ers from one year to the next -- 6% from one year to the next. that's how we can do all of this. we can do it but it takes a lot of tenacity to focus it all the way through. >> thank you, mayor scott. [applause] appreciate that. we are almost out of time. so we'll bring it back to the panel. i thank you greatly for that. i know chuck wexler wishes to speak. we'll go to ms. gupta and then mayor lightfoot will close us out >> thank you for what you said. i guess i want to -- a little reality check here and to use the opportunity to talk to
mayors because the reality is that in america at this moment, most good cops are fearful of doing their job. now, what do i mean by that? i mean that they are cautious, they are not going to be proactive in doing some of the things they've done in the past. there's more guns on the street in this country at this moment than in our history the last two years. and at the very moment that we want to do something about violent crime, it means getting those good cops to have the confidence that only you can give them. and honestly, i don't see that message enough in the country from mayors or even from washington. condemnation, people saying that wouldn't happen here.
you've got to find ways to reach your good cops or you're going to continue to see good cops leaving, not cops not joining. you really have to think hard about finding ways of capturing the imagination and knowing that if they go out there and they do their job and they go beyond their job and they make a mistake, that they won't be hung out to dry. it's a real tough message. i'm not saying anything more than you already know. but too often it's about that video where someone screwed up and everybody's in line to condemn it. how many times do you find an opportunity where someone does something really good and that's just par for the course? you have an opportunity, the country's changing right now, we haven't seen this kind of violent crime in 20 30r years -- 20 or 30 years and it's going to continue.
cops right now are on the sidelines. you have to figure out how to get them back. >> thank you, chuck. before we close, i will note this. one thing that i might add. and i agree with mayor scott, mayor lightfoot. for some of our communities, tragically, if it actually works, it's inconsistent for my entire life. so i think as we -- this conversation shows it. that balance of meeting that level of reform, that's something new, because going back to what ms. gupta mentioned is trust. do our officers trust news is does our community trust our police department? does anybody trust each other prosecutor, police, mayor, etc.? getting to that i think would be core to us. >> i can't believe the hour's gone and i feel like we just scratched the surface, to be honest. so i hope i will be invited back to dig in for another meeting.
there was just too much to discuss here. you all know i am a very accessible person. if you don't know how to reach me, mayor lightfoot knows how to reach me. chuck, the to two chucks know how to reach me. please be in touch. let me know how the justice department can support, if we're doing something wrong or you need something, let us know that too but i am always grateful to be among you mayors. i know how hard your jobs are and my hope is that being at the justice department, we can really increase our partnership. these are the questions of the day and we've only scratched the surface. [applause] >> i'm going to pick up the challenge and say, let's have this conversation again real soon. if you have, like most of us, experiencing a surge in crime over the last two years, particularly violent crime, this is the issue. there's been a lot of great
things happening all over the country in american cities and we are leading on a number of different fronts. but this is the issue that defines us. and for me, it is the priority. i wake up every morning, i go to bed every night. i spend almost every hour during the day worrying about public safety and thinking about more and better and innovative ways in which we can bring really the whole of government, as chuck ramsey said, this is the issue. and i think a lot of us frankly want the camaraderie and time with other mayors to talk about ha we're facing. but i think there's also a lot of really innovative things. i heard from the mayor of mountt vernon, new york, today, on an earlier panel, i'm going to steal a bunch of things she's doing at the local level. the scale may be different but the challenges are exactly the same.
i think one way that we can move forward to help our individual cities is being united on this issue across the country, across mayors, and so i invite the conference, let's get another session on books as soon as we can. because we really just scratched the surface. this is a multihour discussion and i think there's lots of layers that we can talk about that will be instructive across the country. thank you all for joining us. really energized by this conversation and good luck, everyone out there. thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2022]
>> on the anniversary of roe v. wade, anti-abortion advocates met on the national mall today and marched to mark the ruling which legalized abortion in all 50 states. watch the 49th annual march for life education and defense fund rally tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span, online at c-span.org, or full coverage on our video app, c-span now. >> during the final three years of world war ii, nearly 3,000 nazis were detained and interrogated at fort hunt. a top secret military intelligence facility along the pa tollic -- potomac river near washington, d.c. sunday night on q&a, the former chief historian of the national park service, and author of the book, nazis on the potomac, talked about fort hunt and the importance it played during the war. >> there were two russian american soldiers who were at fort hunt, alexander and
alexander, they were dressed in red army uniforms, they were conspicuous throughout the fort. if an interrogator thought that someone was being cagey and not forthcoming with information, they would call in one of these two fellas and they'd say, oh, you don't want to talk to us? how about if ivan here takes you to the soviet union? maybe they would like to hear what you have to say. that worked incredibly well both at fort hunt and in europe. >> robert sutton and his book nazis on the potomac sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's q&a. you can listen to q&a and all of our podcasts on our new c-span now app. >> now, more from the u.s. conference of mayors' winter meeting. transportation secretary pete buttigieg joins mayors from