Statement by Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty on recent proposals to increase the presence of outside law enforcement agencies in Worcester

I have full confidence in [Worcester Police] Chief [Gary] Gemme and the Police Officers of Worcester.

The Worcester Police know our community and our neighborhoods.

We have a great community policing  program, as well as the Police Summer Impact Unit.

Law Enforcement on all levels are already working together to solve the problem of violence in our community.  They are working under the leadership of Police Chief Gary Gemme.

But when guns are easy to obtain, you end up with guns in the wrong hands. Unfortunately, right now, we have gang members with small minds carrying big guns.

I am disappointed in some of my [city] council colleagues who try to have it both ways:

You can’t vote against funding for the police and then claim that they don’t have enough money.

You can’t call for level-funding the budget and then say we don’t have enough cops.

You can’t file orders one day supporting the police and then show a total lack of respect for their professionalism the next.

I am asking my colleagues to stand with me in my support of the Worcester Police Department.  We need everyone in this fight.  We need the Worcester Police, we need neighborhood crime watch groups and we need community groups, all who know the neighborhoods of Worcester.