War on summer violence begins in NYC

Rev. Vernon Williams walks new recruits through Harlem (Photo by Bill Moore)

Gun violence is ripping through the nation. While it’s only the second weekend in July, already the shootings are mounting.
Some folks walk around saying, “Parks aren’t safe. Walking to the store isn’t safe. Chilling on the block isn’t always safe.” Stats speak to a frightening gun violence surge.
Under pressure to stem the violence caused by out-of-state weapons flooding New York City streets, speaking Tuesday at press conference in Brownsville, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced, “We started an initiative back on May 12, which gives us the equivalent of 320 police officers per week. We’re utilizing impact overtime to fund this initiative. These officers went to Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens—every borough was represented in the deployment. They’ve patrolled such areas as East New York, Brownsville, Williamsburg, Soundview, Mott Haven and the North Bronx. Since this initiative commenced, crime in housing has trended in the right direction. As you sit here today and as I stand here, overall crime, overall felony index crime in the housing bureau, is down 2.1 percent. This is the first time since 2009 that crime has been down.
“We have a decrease of 8 percent in murders. Our robberies show a decrease. Our grand larcenies show a decrease. Our grand larceny autos show a decrease. Shootings are up this year in housing, but with the addition of these officers, as well as the work of the other agencies in this plan, we’re looking to stem, abate that, keep them under control, and certainly we look to reduce them.”
Just this past weekend, a record-setting 12 people were shot within five hours. One of the victims was Tamecca Haskins, a 32-year-old woman who was fatally shot and killed in Brooklyn. It is just one of many gun-related incidents Brooklyn has faced in the past couple months. Reports conclude that shootings have increased throughout the city, but Brooklyn seems to be the area that is facing the most turmoil. Folks suspect that warmer weather is one factor contributing to this phenomenon, as more people hang out outside. Gang activity is another factor being observed.
Different methods are being used to implement changes and raise awareness concerning gun violence. Councilman Robert Cornegy has been regarded for his work to reduce gun violence by offering legislative proposals and serving on the Gun Violence Task Force.
“Part of this whole alternative to gun violence is awareness,” Cornegy disclosed. June 23, he arranged black wooden silhouettes on the corner of Clarkson Avenue and DeKalb Avenue, where 16-year-old Michael Moore was shot and killed. In addition, he held a community day at Herbert Von King Park Monday, June 30 to raise awareness about gun violence. The different activities included a free barbecue, a rap battle contest and various resources, for example, education and legal, used to benefit the community.
This week, de Blasio rolled out his initiative to “make New York City’s neighborhoods and housing developments safer.” The mayor stated that out of the new 600 recruits who graduated Monday, June 30, “the housing bureau received 101 of these officers. These officers will be assigned to two of our four impact zones. They’ll be assigned to an impact zone in PSA 5, not too far away in the Taft, Johnson, Jefferson and King developments, and the other officers will be assigned to PSA 7 in the Bronx.”
Special to the NNPA from the New York Amsterdam News

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