Stumping for the gun-control legislation he proposed in the wake of the massacre in Newtown, Conn., President Obama this afternoon lauded Minneapolis’ Youth Violence Prevention Initiative for reducing gun violence in that city, which rose dramatically in 2005 and 2006, by 40 percent. “You’ve shown that progress is possible,” he said.
The president’s invocation of the Minneapolis Youth Violence Prevention Initiative launched in 2008 by R.T. Rybak, the city’s mayor and a current vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee, is odd given that the program bears little resemblance to the remedies the president has proposed to curb gun violence. In fact, President Obama has explicitly rejected one key aspect of the Minneapolis initiative: cops in schools.
A Department of Justice review of the Minneapolis program highlighted the role these officers played in curbing gun violence, noting that “The return of Minneapolis Police Department officers to the School Resource Officer role brings another layer of police investment in tracking youth at risk” and that officers “pay special attention to youth who have been involved with the juvenile justice system or are at risk of going down that path.”