Living in an Imperial World: Checkpoints in the Hudson Valley
From David comes this story about police action in lower New York State:
MOUNT VERNON - Police will begin staging gun checkpoints at the city's borders tonight as a way to curb violence in the city, officials said yesterday.
Teams of mobile police units will set up checkpoints at various city borders in areas where police have dealt with incidents involving guns and violence, Mayor Clinton Young and Police Commissioner David Chong said yesterday.
"I am very seriously concerned about the gun violence here in Mount Vernon," said Young as he announced the police action. "I am not satisfied with what has been happening so far this year."
This year in Mount Vernon, a city of 4 square miles with a population of about 70,000, has had seven homicides - the most of any city in Westchester County.
Young said the gun checkpoint program is a "bold move" aimed at curbing violence.
"I want people to know they cannot come to Mount Vernon for the purpose of committing crimes," the mayor said.
Young said he knows many of the offenses in the city are from residents and gang-related, but he added that many outsiders are involved in the violence.
With the support of the county police, the county probation department, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority police, Yonkers police and the New York City police, officers will stop cars and talk to drivers about antiviolence, the Mount Vernon and county gun programs and even ask if people are carrying illegal firearms, Chong said. He added that the checkpoints will be similar to DWI checkpoints.
"We are not going to violate anyone's civil rights, but there has to be a very strong and clear message. Law-abiding citizens have nothing to fear," Young said.
Mount Vernon police stepped up the pressure on the south side of the city during the summer because of the spike in homicides. The police mobile command unit has been set up on the south side on weekends and more patrols assigned there.
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