TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Tuscaloosa's mayor is taking steps to curb a recent wave of gun violence.

Among the steps announced recently: An emergency measure that allows the police chief to make staffing changes to address the problem.

It will allow Police Chief Steve Anderson to approve overtime and special details without going through the typical bureaucratic red tape, The Tuscaloosa News reported .

"I'm empowering the chief of police to take measures as he sees necessary," Maddox said. "What I want to do is free him from the internal bureaucracy both from within the police department and city hall."

The mayor's announcement came a few hours after shots were fired in the parking lot of a payday loan business in the middle of midday traffic. A few days earlier, two teenagers were arrested in the shooting of an 18-year-old woman. Police are also investigating a double shooting outside a party.

The mayor also asked Anderson to research ways of removing illegally owned firearms within the community.

Maddox added that he's hopeful these actions will galvanize churches, civic clubs and neighborhood watches to take a more proactive effect toward reducing what has become a growing trend of gun violence.

"They can play an active role in addressing the issues of crime," Maddox said of these organizations. "We will utilize every asset we have available to us to reduce the amount of senseless and tragic shootings within our community."


Information from: The Tuscaloosa News, http://www.tuscaloosanews.com

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