Police chiefs and mayors are working to bolster public safety amid rising gun violence and a spate of other crimes across much of the nation. After last month's shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, U.S. cities on recent weekends experienced more than 20 shootings in which at least four people were shot, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Police departments, stretched thin by retirements and recruiting difficulties, are being asked to do more with fewer officers. Some police and city leaders are refreshing training, enforcing curfews and expressing their views in debates over gun laws and bail policies, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The Phoenix Police Department has contacted schools to tighten coordination in the event of an attack and plans to offer active-shooter training for churches, businesses, and other institutions through the summer. Police Chief Jeri Williams recirculated an e-training course on active shooters to all officers after the shooting in Uvalde. In Milwaukee, police began boosting patrols in a downtown entertainment district and increased enforcement in a citywide curfew for children under 17 in response to more than a dozen people being shot after a NBA playoff game last month. Also in May, Chicago instituted a curfew for unaccompanied minors in Millennium Park, a premier gathering place, after a 16-year-old was shot and killed amid a large gathering of young people. Chicago police cited near-record recoveries of illegal firearms as a key to their response. Phoenix Chief Williams, representing the Major Cities Chief Association, sent a letter to the Biden administration and congressional leaders calling for tougher gun restrictions. The group supports tighter background checks, red-flag laws, a ban on internet sales of ammunition and reinstating a federal ban on the sale of assault weapons.