Learn to protect yourself and vote to spend more money on prisons. These are two ways the public can help check violent crime in the United States, according to Chief of Police Bruce R. Baker of Portland, Ore.
In interviews with top police department officials around the country, Monitor correspondents searched out ideas on how America can handcuff violent crime. Other suggestions from law-enforcement professionals: devote more money to police forces, especially in the fast-growing cities of the Southwest; develop more community-based programs such as neighborhood patrols by residents; require mandatory sentences for crimes committed with guns; speed up the processing and sentencing of criminals; introduce more innovative types of technology to help in police enforcement.
Yet many of the chiefs say an important first step to control violent crime is encouraging the public to stand behind their law-enforcement officials. Citizens must first be convinced that violence can be successfully fought.