Davenport's effort to stop violence will focus on kids

Mayor Frank Klipsch says juvenile assessment data important to refining strategy

Davenport Mayor Frank Klipsch joined 4 The Record this week. Here is part two of that interview.

An issue we have talked about several times since you took office is the gun violence happening in the city.

There was a deadly shooting a week ago.

Klipsch talked about what's working and what isn't working when it comes to violence in the city.

"This isn't a local problem, this has really become a national problem," Klipsch said. "If you commit a crime in Davenport, you're gonna be arrested. That's one side. But that's not the ultimate answer. It's, 'How do we prevent this from happening in the first place?' ... We're going to be putting four more officers on the street next year. ... We're also looking at the possibility of a juvenile assessment center. We get in early, take a look at the kids and those who need help, get them help sooner, instead of intervening when there's a problem. ... So we have a couple of proactive initiatives under way."

We asked Klipsch if he believed the Quad Cities and Davenport specifically are seeing a direct criminal influence from Chicago or copycat activity.

"I don't want to blame somebody else... Ultimately, people need to understand we still are a safe community," Klipsch said. "These are random activities that are typically targeted for somebody looking for somebody. These are not random activities. Still, it's important for us to make sure that we are very proactive..."

Let's turn to diversity in law enforcement.

Research showed the Davenport Police Department's racial makeup doesn't match the population.

A report in the Quad-City Times last month found very little diversity in the applicant pool.

There's a significant shortfall in African-American candidates.

Klipsch talked about what the city do differently in this area.

"It really comes down to almost a recruitment process," Klipsch said. "Going into the neighborhood and working with people in the neighborhood to realize these are good jobs. And in fact, we need representation. So it's heightened efforts.... because we want a very diverse workforce -- not only police and fire, but also just in our whole public activities and our whole public government to get people involved."

Watch the full interview in the video above.

Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you. It's a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what's happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.


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