Sunday, December 8, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Page: 37

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Text Content of Page 37 of Cedar Rapids Gazette on Sunday, December 8, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - December 8, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa The Odiir Kaplds G-titltr: DEC. 8, Guns were stacked in heaps at a Baltimore pol- ice station last August as residents lined up to turn in their weapons for bounty. Guns (Continued from Page ISA) of .477 homicides a day involv- ing firearms before the program and .758 a day dur- ing the program, a 50 percent increase. The same, failure seems cv ident in police data on as saults involving firearms.. Be fore the program there ,wert gun assaults in 1974, or 11.1 per day. Lalcsl Figures During the 3D days froir. Aug. 22, when the program began, through the end o September the latest availa ble assault-figures there were 977 assaults with fire arms, or 25.1 a day. Ppmerleau, not ah advocate of strict gun control, thought of the bounty idea as an al- ternative. He reportedly decid- ed to begin Hie bounty while attending a funeral for one of three city patrolmen shot while on duty. But when tried to get federal funds to con- tinue PASS, the federal Law Enforcement ..Assistance Administration said no and argued that PASS would en- courage manufacture of handguns. long "as it is-possible to buy a gun, any for less than and turn It into the police department for Ihe profit motive is; present and the law of economics indicates that if people can buy guns at a lower price and sell them at a- higher price they will do the LEAA statement said. One Baltimore gun dealer confirmed that. Run on Guns ,1. Howard Rosenblatt, own er of a downtown Baltimore sporting goods store, Surplus, said that after the start of Operation PASS there was a run on his cheapest handguns, which retail for Hill said police 'did turn down some bounty-seekers with new guns, especially if the gun could be 'traced to recent purchases; He admit- ted, however, that some prof- iteering might have occurred. From the beginning, Pom- erleau's most serious problem in promoting his experiment was money and the-issue of his authority over that money. He'Tinanced the program by diverting funds within the po- lice department and drew ad- vance funding from the de- partment's budget. Pomcrleau did not seek city approval through normal channels. just made it he said. Flagrant Abuse City Comptroller Hyman Pressman promptly com- plained that Pomerlcau had nq right to juggle police fi- nances, and city council Pres- ident Walter Orlinsky charged Iho commissioner wilh fla- grant abuse of fiscal proce- dures. He called for his resig- nation. Mayor William Schaefer, however, backed Pomerlcau, saying lhal ho.didn't want to discourage good ideas from department heads, The ibarrage of criticism resumed as the failure of Op- eralion PASS to turn Ihc lido against Baltimore's rising crime rate became more ev- ident. Police officials offered no explanation of Ihe crime rale Increase. 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