Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau and Hennepin County Sheriff Richard Stanek were among 12 law enforcement officials who met with President Barack Obama at the White House Monday to discuss gun violence, Fox 9 reported.
Obama said that no group is more important in a renewed debate about gun control, acknowledging the issue "elicits a lot of passion all across the country," the Associated Press reported. Obama said he believes Congress will respond to appeals from police, the AP reported.
Obama is reaching out for allies in what is an uphill climb for the president in seeking stricter gun control measures.
Expected at the meeting with key administration officials were chiefs from cities that had the worst shootings of 2012: Aurora, Colo., where 12 were killed at a movie theater in July; Oak Creek, Wis., where six died in a Sikh temple assault; Newtown, Conn., where 20 elementary schools students and six staffers died; and Minneapolis, where a workplace shooting at Accent Signage Systems ultimately claimed the lives of seven.
Pool images showed Stanek and Harteau seated between Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.
Stanek met with Vice President Joe Biden to talk over gun violence last month. Stanek and other Minnesota law enforcement officials also have called for changes that would prevent people with mental illnesses from buying guns.
Harteau is in Washington for the Major Cities Chiefs and Major County Sheriffs' Associations legislative meetings, the Star Tribune reported.