Springfield police chief shares discussion ideas on curb violent crime

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A new perspective on statewide efforts to curb violent crime.

The mayors and police chiefs of Missouri’s four largest cities recently met with Governor Mike Parson to talk about the problems and solutions.

Springfield police chief Paul Williams shared some of the discussion ideas with KOLR10 news.

Williams said the group found consensus over a need for increased funding to help people with mental health or substance abuse issues.

They also talked about increased efforts to protect witnesses who are afraid to speak up or prosecute.

And possibly some new oversight to keep guns out of the wrong hands while still protecting second amendment rights.

“Convicted felons. There’s absolutely no reason for A person convicted of a felony or a violent crime to ever legally be able to possess a firearm where they can commit another violent crime,” Williams said. “Number two domestic abusers. We have a huge domestic violence problem in our community. Probably more so than some of the other communities which face other issues. It was important for me representing Springfield to go, there’s no reason for domestic violence abuser, someone has been convicted of or accused of abusing a family member or a friend, do you have access to a firearm.

Williams says the mayors and police chiefs also talked about closing a gap in state law to keep weapons out of the hands of juveniles under the age of 16.

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