Police set to search for guns at homes

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by satellite66, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. satellite66

    satellite66 New Member

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    Police set to search for guns at homes
    Voluntary program is issue in community

    By Maria Cramer, Globe Staff | February 9, 2008

    As Boston police prepare to go into some of the city's most dangerous neighborhoods, knock on doors of private houses, and ask if they can search for illegal guns without a warrant, officials are trying to pitch the idea of the plan as friendly cooperation to residents who still see it as a threatening intrusion.

    A friendly looking logo - a drawing of a house surrounded by the sun - adorns the brochure police have drafted to explain and promote the initiative, "Safe Homes." Photos of officers playing baseball with children and chatting with teenagers dot the pamphlet. Twice, police have taken calls from listeners on a black radio station in Roxbury.

    By the time they start going door to door next month, police hope they will have reassured clergy, neighborhood leaders, and parents who still see the program as a way to violate the privacy of residents in neighborhoods with a large population of minority-group members and and immigrants.

    "There is a big trust issue," said Deputy Superintendent Gary French, who will oversee the Safe Homes program. "I think a lot of people think there's going to be some kind of behind-the-scenes hook to this, and there really isn't. The reality of it is it's strictly a program aimed at getting guns out of the hands of juveniles."

    Police plan to search for weapons in four Dorchester and Roxbury neighborhoods by late February or early March. Relying on the tips from schools, community organizations, and parents, they will look in the rooms of any children whose parents or guardians give consent to the search, French said. (The program does not apply to anyone over 18, because they are legally adults and parents can no longer give consent to a search of their rooms.)

    Ten officers and a sergeant assigned to the city's schools have been trained to conduct the searches. Most of them speak a second tongue, Spanish or Cape Verdean Creole.

    To further put residents at ease, officers will wear civilian clothes and try to look like office workers on casual Friday rather than FBI agents, French said. "They won't go in there in a three-piece suit."

    Since announcing the initiative in November, police have held several community meetings about the program and developed an advisory council of religious and community leaders. They suggested that the brochures make clear that residents do not have to consent to the search, and they urged that ministers or social workers accompany police during searches, French said.

    Some clergy members have apparently volunteered to accompany police on the searches because they are suspicious of their intent.

    "My belief is there are ministers that will do it as part of their ministry because they want to make sure police don't overstep their boundaries," said the Rev. David Wright, executive director of the Black Ministerial Alliance, whose board has not decided whether to endorse the program. "And I think that's a valid point."

    Other ministers are staying away from the searches. They fear that if they are with police when they find a gun that is connected to a homicide, residents will stop trusting them.

    "I'm not going to go and help them get a gun, and then a kid gets arrested because there's a body on it," said the Rev. Shaun O. Harrison, a Dorchester minister. "There is my credibility going down the tubes."

    Like many ministers, Harrison works with gang members and tries to persuade them to hand over their weapons anonymously. He knows they trust him because he will not turn them in.

    Harrison has also lost a loved one to the violence: His nephew, Roderick Carter, 23, was fatally shot last month.

    "I'm conflicted about this thing here," Harrison said. "I know they're trying to do everything they can to get guns off the street. I commend them for that, but I don't think that's the way." French said police will test all the guns to see if they were used in shootings. But he said he doubts any child would be arrested as a result of the search, even if police found a gun that turned out to be a murder weapon.

    "If I stopped you today and you have a gun, that doesn't suggest that you had that firearm two months ago," he said. "It doesn't put you at the scene of a crime. . . . If we don't have any information that ties you to the earlier crime, that investigation is going to go nowhere."

    Wright said it is possible that a child could be storing a gun for a gang member - a friend, a relative - and would be beaten if police took the gun. But French said that possibility was remote.

    "There are a thousand what ifs with this program," French said. "I don't see us running into a lot of situations where we run into some of the worst-case scenarios that are being put out there."

    French has found converts. He won over M.C. Spice, host of "The Big Morning Thing" at Touch 106.1 FM, when he spoke about the program on the show.

    "I was so against it," said M.C. Spice, program director of the station, located in Grove Hall. "But the fact that he came in here and he was a person - he wasn't in there with direct orders: 'Hey we're the Gestapo and we're going to go in.' He said his point with passion and conviction. He cared about the youth."

    Link
  2. Dakota Red 1

    Dakota Red 1 New Member

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    ARRGH!!! I had a history class last year that covered Boston during the Revolution. Adams, Reviere, those patriots are dead and gone from the mind of Bostonians. When you give up your responsibilities, you give up your rights. It shouldn't take a government program to shake down a kid's bedroom for a gat. It might take a week and a shovel but it's the parent's/guardian's responsibility. (I'm writing this from my ultra-secure gun room. Quick glance at my teen's firearms...all present.)

    Talk about letting them get their foot in the door....
    Started thinking about all the other things that government would want to come in your house to check...transfats so you don't become a burden to socialized medicine; thermostat settings you mother earth hater; Confederate flags...

    Oh well,
  3. JohnK3

    JohnK3 New Member

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    to paraphrase what someone else (George Carlin?) said:

    When fascism comes to America, it won't be wearing jackboots and goosestepping. It will be wearing smiley buttons and dancing.
  4. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

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    I don't know why anyone would volunteer to let the cops search a house just at random, but... I guess it is their house. I have cops at my house all the time; not to search, just socially. If you want someone to search your house for you, it's fine with me.

    If it ever becomes mandated, I guarantee they'll find a gun first thing when they kick in my door...
  5. satellite66

    satellite66 New Member

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    Thats the problem it starts slowly and then things like this hit that slippery slope. All the greatest examples of tyranny we now endure started for the good of the people with their permission. One of the last examples of tyranny disguised as for the good of all was McCains campaign finance reform.
  6. 358 winchester

    358 winchester *TFF Admin Staff*

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    My answer is no no no now leave my property at once and DO NOT RETURN!
    This is my home I will be responsible for what is in it.
    Oh but the next day they show up with a warrant because they now suspect that there is something in here I am hiding! We are going to regret that this program ever got off the ground, MARK MY WORDS.
  7. Rommelvon

    Rommelvon New Member

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    sure they can come in, but only if they shampoo my carpets, clean my windows, paint the bedrooms and fix me dinner:D
  8. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    I sure wouldn't trust most of the big-city cops I know cooking my dinner. :D

    Pops
  9. glocknut

    glocknut New Member

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    THE FORUM MASCOTT...

    Right On !!!!!!!!!

    mike
    gn
  10. Bruce FLinch

    Bruce FLinch New Member

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    Are those parents so stupid, lazy & afraid of their own kids, that they can't search the rooms themselves? :eek:

    Ted Kennedy must be sooo proud...What say you, Mitt?
  11. Michael G

    Michael G New Member

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    Cops fixin me dinner??? It would probably be bar-B-qued donuts with a glaze of stale coffee.
    Search my house? I don't think so.
  12. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    Depends on Uncle Sam's whim every 3 yrs.
    Exactly...sadly the fact of it.

    Think about this. Somebody in Mississippi wants a law against selling fast food to obese people. http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2008/02/ms_fat.html

    So much for individual responsibilities.

    Based on what I've seen as a Drill Sergeant, most teenagers I've met on this job up close (over 2,000 and counting) where not taught much worthwhile by their "parent/gaurdian". A lot of these young adults actually believe that personal responsibility is an option; one that they can chose when and where to be accounted for their actions!! I hate to hold the opinion I'm saying, but our society is headed toward socialism by default of increasingly lazy generations of parents failing their kids.
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