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Mayor Calls Gun Violence a Health Crisis, Vows $13M to Fight It

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

WNYC
Council Member Jumaane Williams, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and Mayor de Blasio During Anti-Gun Violence Announcement (William Alatriste/New York City Council)

With shootings up 12 percent this year, New York City plans to spend $13 million on a multi-agency effort to fight gun violence. The program includes community services like job training, plus mental health and legal services.

"We have to think of this as a health crisis," said Mayor Bill de Blasio, who announced the program Tuesday in the atrium of Harlem Hospital. He was joined by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, council members, administration officials and advocates. 

The program will bring together six city agencies led by the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, the departments of Education, Health and Mental Hygiene, Probation, Youth and Community Development and the City University of New York.

The program is based on the cure violence model, which started in Chicago in 2000 and brought down shootings there by 67 percent in its first year by deploying "violence interrupters," people from the local community who work to stop shootings before they happen. 

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