March 28, 2017. WLRN.org
Representatives from law enforcement agencies across Miami-Dade County pledged Monday night to test out a model for reducing gun violence by focusing on providing services to a small number of perpetrators.
Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez and Miami Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes, along with representatives from the city of Miami Gardens, the State Attorney’s Office and Miami-Dade Public Defender Carlos Martinez committed to forming an exploratory committee to evaluate approaches from around the country and select the one most suitable for Miami-Dade. The pledge came following research and recommendations by a committee from from People Acting for Community Together, a network of faith-based groups and universities also known as PACT.
Doris Hernandez, of St. Monica’s Catholic Church, told a crowd gathered at St. James Catholic Church in North Miami for the annual Nehemiah Action Assembly that a small number of young men — concentrated in a handful of zip codes — are responsible for the lion’s share of the problem.
“We found three proven programs that identify the people responsible for gun violence, work alongside them to change their lifestyles and provide them support and social services,” said Hernandez.
The approaches proposed by PACT are known as Group Violence Intervention, Cure Violence and the Office of Neighborhood Safety, which helped produce a 60 percent drop in homicide rates over five years in Richmond, California.
The Nehemiah Action model is designed to secure policy commitments by public officials after a months-long process of “listening sessions.” The agencies represented agreed to develop a proposed budget and timeline to roll out one of the three models for gun violence prevention in time for PACT’s next assembly on June 5.
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