Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter says the nation needs a new government agency to help reduce violence happening on city streets.
Speaking alongside New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu on Thursday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Nutter said the United States needs to take domestic violence as seriously as terrorism.
"What if our response to domestic terrorism is as thorough and as engaged as our response to international terrorism," he asked.
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Nutter said the 2,977 victims of 9/11 brought numerous changes, including creation of the Department of Homeland Security, and that 14,827 murders across last year merit a Domestic Security Agency.
"From the 9/11 Commission we created the TSA, the Transportation Safety Administration. Well maybe now we need the WASA, the Walking Around Safety Administration," Nutter said. "This is serious, because we have a violence problem in America.
Landrieu said the number of people murdered in this country from 1980 through 2012 outnumber all U.S. deaths in every war from World War I on.
He said Congress should redirect billions of dollars spent to build police departments in other countries back to putting new police on the beat in U.S. cities.
Nutter said the number of young black men being killed is also a major issue that needs to be addressed.
The mayor said he and Landrieu have already spoken to President Barack Obama, who is "ready to act." Nutter said now Congress needs to step up.