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Drop ‘em: New Call to Get Illegal Guns Off Neighborhood Streets

This past year, close to 1,000 guns have been taken off the streets in Patrol Borough Brooklyn North, according to the command’s top cop. But there is still more work to do. Speaking at the 84th Precinct Community Council this week, Patrol Borough Brooklyn North Assistant Chief Joseph Cunneen told those gathered they must “get on their local elected officials” to help cops wage an effective battle against illegal guns. “We need to stop the guns from coming into New York,” he said. There are no licensed gun dealers in Brooklyn, Cunneen noted. So the question remains, he continued, “Where do the guns come from?” Assistant District Attorney Thomas Comer, the deputy bureau chief of Brooklyn Gun Court, told the precinct council that to quell gun-related violence there must be a focus on successful prosecution. That’s where the gun court comes in, Comer said. The specialized court was founded in 2003 and handles all felony gun possession cases in Brooklyn. During the Brooklyn gun court’s first sixth months of operation, the median length of jail sentences quadrupled, from 90 days to one year. Sentences of straight probation have all but been eliminated. Today, the court continues to make a difference, Comer said. “Eighty-five percent of those prosecuted for possessing loaded firearms in this county go to jail,” he said. He called on residents to become involved if they see someone with a weapon, or have information about the trafficking of weapons. There is, he said, a “value of community.” “If you are a witness, and see a crime…become involved,” he urged.

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