Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence Set to Expand, Launch Major Peacekeeping Programs

July 10, 2018

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New funding allows for expanding the lauded Crisis Management System and Public Safety Coalitions, and the introduction of five mobile trauma units across the city

NEW YORK—The Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence (OPGV) today revealed several new initiatives as part of its mission to expand effective, innovative violence intervention strategies to end gun violence in New York City. The City is investing $34 million in Fiscal Year 2019 in evidence-based strategies to prevent gun violence throughout the city.

“We’re continuing to build on the network we’ve created to co-produce public safety and to make positive, enduring change in the lives of New Yorkers. Together with our partners and community members, we’re leading the way toward peace,” said Eric Cumberbatch, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence.

“We’re investing in New Yorkers because every New Yorker is critical to improving safety in our neighborhoods and helping us end gun violence in our city,” said Elizabeth Glazer, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.

The new funding will enable OPGV to open four new Crisis Management System (CMS) locations—two in the Bronx at the 48th and 52nd precincts, and two in Brooklyn at the 81st and 88th precincts. The new CMS locations will enable increased violence prevention and interruption services, and social services supports known as “wrap-around services,” including job training and readiness programming, conflict mediation in school settings, mental health services, employment, legal aid services, workshops and post discharge programming in secured detention facilities, linkages to institutions of higher education and art programming. These services lead to significant reductions in crime, a decline in the propensity to use violence in disputes and increased confidence in law enforcement, according to an independent evaluation of the program.

OPGV is also launching five “Mobile Trauma Units” or one in each borough. Each Mobile Trauma Unit will provide targeted public education and outreach, therapeutic services for community members impacted by gun violence, trauma response to communities where violent incidents occur outside of the CMS catchment area, and will connect victims of violence and families to services and resources. The Units will also work proactively to strategically station and mitigate possible conflicts at community events or activities.

The funding will also support the formation of the second Public Safety Coalition in Bushwick, following the successful creation of a coalition in East Flatbush, where shooting incidents in the 67th precinct during the summer months decreased by 62 percent following the coalition’s launch. Comprised of clergy members, business owners, concerned residents, youth and youth organizations, the coalitions empower targeted neighborhoods to create and implement a collective, comprehensive community plan to decrease youth involvement in gangs, crimes and gun violence.

The additional funding also allows OPGV to hire six new Domestic Violence Coordinators to enhance existing prevention and intervention services for community members who have experienced domestic and/or intimate partner violence. Combatting domestic violence and intervening in early stages where violence is learned and practiced is a key part of overall efforts to reduce crime. In addition, two newly funded Community Coordinators will provide support for implementing, monitoring and evaluating various activities related to the anti-gun violence initiative.

“The Council strongly supports the Crisis Management System initiative which the City has been supporting since 2014. This initiative has proven to be one of the most effective means of reducing gun violence and these new measures highlight yet another critical push on making our communities safer.  I want to thank my Council colleagues and the Administration for working on finding solutions to reduce the rates of gun violence and helping vulnerable New Yorkers get back on track,” said New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

“The impact of violence is often traumatic. Trauma can have short and long-term consequences not only on individuals, but also on entire communities. Integrating a mental health perspective in violence prevention is vital to addressing the trauma gun and domestic violence unleashes on communities across the city. I applaud this new investment by Mayor de Blasio expanding the Crisis Management System into four new precincts and embedding a network of services and resources into communities to increase the health and safety of residents. The mobile trauma units will allow for the quick deployment of therapeutic services and  will reduce stigma associated with obtaining mental health services and further strengthen neighborhoods’ resilience,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett.

“All children deserve to feel safe in their community, and by investing in evidence-based strategies aimed at preventing gun violence, we can work toward achieving that goal. I applaud the Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence for launching these brand new Mobile Trauma Units for community members impacted by gun violence, and for supporting community coalitions that will decrease youth involvement in gangs and crimes. Through this work, young people will be better connected to job training, employment, mental health services and other critical resources to address the causes of gun violence, with the goal of ending gun violence here in New York City,” said ACS Commissioner David A. Hansell.

Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza said, “Schools are safe havens for communities, and additional investments in programs like the Anti-Gun Violence Initiative help ensure that students and staff are provided with a safe, supportive and inclusive learning environment in all of our schools. By providing schools with the tools to develop targeted social-emotional supports for students, we’re getting at the underlying causes of conflict and directly addressing them.”

“Those of us who have stood watch on our street corners, protecting our children and families, know that combating gun violence takes an all-in commitment. City Hall’s investment in the Crisis Management System funds the resources needed on the ground, by those who know our communities best, to make that commitment a reality. Wrap-around services and trauma support matter in stemming vicious cycles of violence. I look forward to continuing my close collaboration with violence interrupters and community advocates engaged in this life-saving mission, as our efforts expand in neighborhoods like Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick, and Fort Greene, as well as communities impacted outside existing catchment areas,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams

“Thoughts and prayers are not enough to keep our communities safe. We need to take action. Together we can prevent gun violence. The time to find a lasting solution is now, and I support this important program so we can make New York safer, together,” said state Senator Roxanne J. Persaud.

“Today, we celebrate an important step forward in saving lives and confronting the root causes of gun violence including but not limited to poverty, a lack of educational and job opportunities, trauma and mental illness. Investments in job programs, anti-violence programs, counseling and wraparound services in communities that have experienced historical disinvestment is critical in reducing senseless gun violence. We commend the city for their leadership, especially Eric Cumberbatch, and our great allies including Save Our Streets, LIFE CAMP and Release The Grip. These community-based groups, along with local champions such as Hakeem Yahmadi, Bernard Smith, Linda Kemp, and our community affairs officers do the hard work of addressing violence on the front end and doing everything possible to help our people heal from pain and trauma, even after the cameras are gone,” said Assembly Member Michael Blake. 

“Community leadership must remain central, uplifted, and supported in our efforts to prevent gun violence in our communities. There remains an epidemic of such violence and I thank The Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence and GMACC for their leadership in bringing the Crisis Management System to the 88th Precinct/PSA 3 to work with community and unite around the common cause of safety and well-being for all of our residents, families, and especially our young people. I was proud to spearhead the creation of The Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence and Art A Catalyst for Change. We must look to our community-based organizations, art institutions, schools, houses of worship, mental health practitioners and most importantly the members of the community, as holding solutions to combatting the epidemic of gun violence,” said New York City Council Majority Leader, Laurie. A. Cumbo.

“Expanding Crisis Management Systems and adding Mobile Trauma Units and Domestic Violence Coordinators across the city is a great strategy to get at the root causes of violence in our communities, along with the increased ability to save lives when a crisis occurs. Working with non-profits, such as Rock Safe Streets, in the Rockaways through CMS has delivered drastic reductions in violence in their catchment area. Incarcerating our way out of crime has not and will never provide the widespread results communities need to prevent violence for the long term. I’d like to thank Mayor de Blasio for his successful commitment to innovative violence intervention strategies and their continued expansion,” Council Member Donovan Richards, Chair of the Committee on Public Safety.

“The Cure Violence program and the Crisis Management System have seen incredible success in the East Flatbush community and around the city, saving lives and completely transforming the way that we address gun violence. Years of efforts by members of the Council, administration, and community advocates have seen the Crisis Management System grow and our city at its safest in over 60 years. The expansion of the program into new communities and with new resources is a testament to the effectiveness of an approach that we were told was impossible, and I plan to continue to work with the administration and the City Council to implement a system that addresses the public health crisis of gun violence in this revolutionary way. I want to thank the Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence for their steadfast commitment to the tireless work that is being done on the ground every day in communities plagued by gun violence and to the people who make it possible,” said Council Member Jumaane Williams.

Council Member Fernando Cabrera said, “As Co-chair of the Task Force to Combat Gun Violence, I know that making the Cure Violence program the centerpiece of our strategy was the right decision. Cure violence is evidence-based, supported by data which is collected and analyzed on an ongoing basis.  Since we fully implemented Cure Violence, gun violence has been down throughout the five boroughs. This program reaches thousands of residents in my district, engaging the community about the root causes of violence and changing the norms and behaviors that encourage, condone and reward violence. I have been a staunch advocate for expanding this program. I commend the OPGV for extending its reach into four new locations, adding mobile trauma units, domestic violence coordinators and a crisis management system.”

“I am pleased to learn that four new Crisis Management System locations will be opened in communities disproportionately impacted by gun violence, as these locations provide comprehensive violence prevention services. Additionally, Mobile Trauma Units will ensure communities are no longer left alone to grapple with trauma after a violent incident. As the representative of a district with some of the highest rates of gun violence in the City, I thank Mayor de Blasio and the Office to Prevent Gun Violence for their commitment to combatting this crisis,” said Council Member Diana Ayala.

“Gun violence has a rippling and lasting negative impact on our communities. Preventative measures that address the after effects of shootings are critical to ending the cycle of gun violence plaguing our communities. I thank Mayor de Blasio, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice Elizabeth Glazer, Director of the Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence Eric Cumberbatch, and of course our hard working cure violence providers for supporting the expansion of CMS programs in the 48th and 52nd precincts as well as the upcoming roll out of borough based mobile trauma units. We cannot underestimate the lasting and traumatic impact of gun violence in neighborhoods across New York City, but, thanks to these critical programs, we can begin to help communities and families heal,” said Council Member Vanessa Gibson.

Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. said, “The Crisis Management System has been a revelation in the Central Brooklyn communities I represent, where we have seen a precipitous drop in violent crime since its introduction. The additional funding for new CMS locations and Mobile Trauma Units will be an added benefit to a system that has proved remarkably successful in reducing violence throughout our city.”

“We are thankful for the OPGV, City Council and our Mayor for their continued commitment to fight gun violence from a public health perspective. The expansion shows the evidence-based work we are doing is changing minds and lives while bringing down gun violence in our city. We are a source for prevention and that is a major part of public safety for all,” said Shanduke McPhatter, CEO and Founder of G-M.A.C.C. Inc. 

“Any and every additional dollar that is allocated to this office and our citywide work is a tremendous benefit to the public health and safety of every New Yorker. We deeply appreciate the City Council and the Mayor for putting their money where their mouths are with regards to the issue of gun violence prevention,” said Andre T. Mitchell, Founder and Executive Director of Man Up! Inc.

“BronxConnect rejoices in the great strides New York City has made to help communities lower gun violence, while addressing the necessary support of mental health services, employment, conflict mediation and reentry. Communities of color desire to live in peace, and need a government who will fund programs that empower us to rebuild our communities from within. We are proud of the peace our Release the Grip program has made in the 44nd Precinct, and expect to see strong results in the 48th Precinct,” said Rev. Wendy Calderón-Payne.

About The Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence
The Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence, housed within the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, is the backbone of citywide efforts to work with New Yorkers as partners in reducing the remaining gun violence in New York City. The goals of the Office to Prevent Gun Violence are to coordinate the city’s various anti-gun violence initiatives, amplify community-based intervention and prevention services, and introduce technological solutions to prevent gun violence to create safe, empowered and interconnected communities in New York City.

For more information about the Office to Prevent Gun Violence, please visit nyc.gov/peacenyc.

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