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City Announces New $12.7 Million Gun Violence Prevention Initiative

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Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker Mark-Viverito announce new gun violence initiative on Aug. 13, 2014 (Credit: Juliet Papa/1010 WINS)

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker Mark-Viverito announce new gun violence initiative on Aug. 13, 2014 (Credit: Juliet Papa/1010 WINS)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced a multi-million dollar effort to reduce gun violence in New York City on Wednesday.

In response to rising gun violence, the city will invest $12.7 million to create a Gun Violence Crisis Management System.

The new initiative will expand a previous violence prevention project to more neighborhoods that need it.

City Announces New $12.7 Million Gun Violence Prevention Initiative

de blasio guns City Announces New $12.7 Million Gun Violence Prevention Initiative
WCBS 880's Peter Haskell reports

As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported, more than half of all shootings in the city take place in 14 police precincts.

Mayor de Blasio said that’s where they’ll be focusing their efforts.

“We’re proud to announce an investment of nearly $13 million to prevent shootings before they occur,” the mayor said.

The new plan is expected to use community interventions, anti-violence messaging, and support services in areas with high rates of gun violence.

“By focusing on the communities with the highest levels of shootings and working with those at-risk for committing violence, the City’s Crisis Management System will be able to prevent shootings before they happen and help save lives,” Mark-Viverito said.

Efay Charles, who runs an anti-violence program, said it’s about teaching the right skills.

“How to handle disputes without pulling a weapon,” she said.

Charles said her anti-violence program helps young people think about the choices at hand when it comes to violence and “imagine a different life for themselves because a lot of our young people do not have hope.”

“And many of us end up going to funerals, not for people who die from natural causes these days, but for young men and women between the ages of four and 28″ Charles said.

Officials said the initiative will identify and engage those who are most likely to be involved in gun violence, and then deploy interventions aimed at curbing the behavior before it occurs, including retaliatory shootings.

Former gang member known as Beloved, who works as a violence interrupter, told Haskell he asks victims to think twice before rushing to retaliate.

“So if you’re shot and you had a gun, imagine what’s going to happen to your loved ones that don’t have a gun and are not prepared for this war,” he said.

Officials said the the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, the Department of Education, Department of Health and Hygiene, Department of Probation, Department of Youth and Community Development, and the City University of New York will all play a part in making the new initiative successful.

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