Police set to search for guns at homes

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Offline Amishism

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Police set to search for guns at homes
« on: February 10, 2008, 11:07:33 PM »
Police set to search for guns at homes
Voluntary program is issue in community
By Maria Cramer
Globe Staff / February 9, 2008

As Boston police prepare to go into some of the city's most dangerous neighborhoods, knock on doors of private houses, and ask if they can search for illegal guns without a warrant, officials are trying to pitch the idea of the plan as friendly cooperation to residents who still see it as a threatening intrusion.

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A friendly looking logo - a drawing of a house surrounded by the sun - adorns the brochure police have drafted to explain and promote the initiative, "Safe Homes." Photos of officers playing baseball with children and chatting with teenagers dot the pamphlet. Twice, police have taken calls from listeners on a black radio station in Roxbury.

By the time they start going door to door next month, police hope they will have reassured clergy, neighborhood leaders, and parents who still see the program as a way to violate the privacy of residents in neighborhoods with a large population of minority-group members and and immigrants.

"There is a big trust issue," said Deputy Superintendent Gary French, who will oversee the Safe Homes program. "I think a lot of people think there's going to be some kind of behind-the-scenes hook to this, and there really isn't. The reality of it is it's strictly a program aimed at getting guns out of the hands of juveniles."