White House taps Quincy police chief

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Walt McNeil to serve on a panel with vice president

By Alice Du Pont

Walt McNeil, Quincy Police chief, traveled Dec. 20 to Washington, D.C., to serve on a panel with Vice President Joseph Biden. The meeting came on the heels of the Dec. 14 shooting incident that left 20 children and six adults dead in Newtown, Conn.

President Barack Obama held a press conference Dec. 19 at the White House and promised the panel would be one of substance.

“We’re extremely happy that his views and expertise have been sought out. It is a credit to the citizens of this community and the foresight of this (city) commission that we have such an individual who has been asked to sit at the table and give his input on national issues such as this,” said Jack McLean, city manager.

“It is important that small towns like ours have representation on these national policy matters. We have less than 10,000 people, and we have representation there who will be discussing possible legislation that will affect 300 million. We’re extremely proud of our chief,” McLean said.

The topics of discussion included gun violence in America by local, state and federal officials. McNeil was representing law enforcement chiefs and officers as the immediate past president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Issues discussed during the meeting include:

* Reducing gun violence nationally.

* Assault weapons.

* Closing gun show loopholes.

* Fighting illegal firearms.

* Firearms offender registry.

* Additional resources to enforce existing firearms laws.

* Firearm purchase waiting period.

* Police response to persons with mental illness.