Law enforcement cracking down on gun violence in Waterloo - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Law enforcement cracking down on gun violence in Waterloo

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    Wednesday, May 27 2015 2:10 PM EDT2015-05-27 18:10:48 GMT
    Local and federal officials talk about the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, and the seven charged with federal gun crimes, Wednesday at Waterloo City Hall. (Sean O'Neal, KWWL)Local and federal officials talk about the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, and the seven charged with federal gun crimes, Wednesday at Waterloo City Hall. (Sean O'Neal, KWWL)
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WATERLOO (KWWL) - Enough is enough -- police say they are hearing that from the community, and they agree.

"Gun violence that we experienced in the last several months is not going to be tolerated," said Capt. Dave Mohlis with the Waterloo Police Department. 

This effort is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, which combines federal, state and local law enforcement to work together and look at gun crimes.

Law enforcement officials stress, if you are a felon or using a gun illegally, watch out.

"If you're going to use guns, you're going to pay a price, and federal law is a heavy price to pay," said Kevin Techau, United States Attorney. 

It's a plan Rev. Frantz Whitfield at Waterloo's Mount Carmel Baptist Church is happy to see. He's been heavily involved in the peace marches that hundreds of people have been a part of in the city.

"It's more than just saying, 'We don't want guns in the community.' It's action," said Whitfield. 

It's action that includes potentially 10 years in federal prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

"You better think about your future because, my jail's almost full," said Tony Thompson, Black Hawk County Sheriff. "I don't want to fill that thing up, but if I have to, we will. I've already made arrangements with another jail to hold our overflow.

"We know what this summer's going to bring, and we know -- you know, you have a four-year-old getting shot," he added. "We're done with that. The message needs to be very clear."

Project Safe Neighborhoods exists in cities all across the country, and its organizers say it is proven effective in addressing violent crime.
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