Getting paid to play the knockout game.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio gave details Wednesday of a $12.7 million “Gun Violence Crisis Management System” to make Gotham’s streets safer.
A key facet of the Mayor’s plan, backed by the City Council, are so-called “violence interrupters.” These interrupters will be seeded in high-crime police precincts to disrupt street crime before it reaches the point of a gun muzzle. This comes as the administration’s response to a 12 percent uptick in shootings this year in the City that Never Sleeps.
“While New York remains the safest big city in the nation and crime has continued to drop citywide, gun violence remains a challenge,” said de Blasio in a release. “With this initiative, we are creating a focused effort incorporating mental health services, legal services, after-school programs—using models of proven success and targeting the communities where nearly half of the city’s shootings occur—into our effort to reduce gun violence and create a safer New York.”
The plan is based on the Cure Violence model, which is designed to treat gun violence as a health care issue. The cure proposed is to identify those likely to be involved in gun violence and have a peer intervene before things get out of hand. Targeting 14 of the highest crime areas of the five boroughs, 2-3 specially trained violence interrupters will be sent into each of the police precincts to help defuse crime before it happens.
Interrupters, drawn from former gang members who have been reformed, will reach out to head off retaliatory shootings and negotiate disputes in their areas in an attempt to keep the peace. They will also be a point of contact to win the hearts and minds of current gang members and supply them with information on alternative support services.