On Friday, the Task Force to Combat Gun Violence announced the Anti-Gun Violence Initiative, a new set of City Council programs which will receive a total of $4.8 million in funding for Fiscal Year 2013.
The announcement came as the Council prepared to pass the citywide budget, meeting a key benchmark set by the task force when it first launched last September for supporting a series of tangible solutions aimed at reducing gun violence across New York City.
“The Anti-Gun Violence Initiative is a breakthrough first step in our fight to save our youth from the gun epidemic that is claiming their lives,” said Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Flatbush/East Flatbush), co-chair of the task force. “The members of the Task Force worked hard this year on sharing best practices and identifying innovative solutions that can turn our communities away from violence and toward prosperity.”
In its first year, the Anti-Gun Violence Initiative will initiate pilot programs in five of the city’s most at-risk police precincts: the 75th Precinct covering East New York, the 32nd Precinct covering Harlem, the 40th Precinct covering the South Bronx, the 113th Precinct covering southeastern Jamaica and the 120th Precinct covering the North Shore of Staten Island.
Efforts that will be funded this year include crisis intervention, therapeutic and legal services, conflict mediation and violence prevention in schools and youth and community development.
The task force was created in response to rising gun violence statistics citywide, which were highlighted by a rash of shootings over last year’s Labor Day weekend.
The task force’s interdisciplinary approach employed experts, including scholars, activists and community leaders, to weigh the impact of factors such as poverty, education and unemployment as well as anecdotal evidence to help determine how safe residents truly feel in their neighborhoods.