Gun crimes have been one of the persisting headaches among legislatures over the years. From school shootings to increase gun violence within cities, politicians have been drafting laws to lessen gun-related crimes in the country.
Despite all these regulations that are enforced by law makers, gun violence still prevails among areas in the cities. But it’s usually not the whole city that’s the problem, but a certain part of it. Police officials and experts on the matter identify these parts as hotspots where gun violence is at its highest.
Thus, the GIVE initiative was implemented. GIVE or Gun Involved Violence Elimination is a strategy that police enforcers are currently testing to lessen gun crimes in their respected areas. The GIVE initiative is a program granting $13 million dollars for subset programs to curb this problem and decrease shootings in the future.
The program focuses on the said hotspots mentioned earlier, but not on reason you might think. The aim is to foster the relationship between law enforcers and the community in the area. Those involved in the programs uses a stern yet caring approach on the matter, conversing with those highly involved with the shooting and trying to make them understand the gravity of consequences should they continue on their path of violence.
It’s quite the strategy given that former methods that have been used on this dilemma has caused a gaping hole between local law enforcement agencies and the people that they’ve sworn to protect.
With this strategy, Executive Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Criminal Justice Services, Michael Green, hopes to heal and close the wound that have been caused by prior strategies.
Green added that by communicating directly with the leader of the groups involved with gun violence, they can reach out and tap the problem at its roots. He said that members of these groups should be made to understand that this has stop, there’s no negotiation on the matter.
“If one of your members commits a shooting, your whole group will be targeted,” Green added. The program offers services for these groups that can help them let go of these destructive behaviors that not only harm innocent citizens and officers upholding the law, but also themselves.
Is GIVE finally the answer?
Similar to other strategies, it would take time before results starts coming in. However, the cities that have participated have had positive feedbacks from the program so far.
The Syracuse Police Department is one such city that took part with the GIVE initiative. The department’s captain, Richard Trudell, said that they’ve brought these individuals in, sat them down, and have them listened to community speakers and law enforcers on the issue. “They do listen to what we’re telling them,” the captain stated.
As legislators are still coming up with specific laws that can lessen gun crimes within cities, while allowing its citizens the liberty to carry firearms, officers like Trudell and Green are doing their best to make this new program work.
Perhaps the answer is indeed healing the rift that has fragmented the law enforcers and the community of these hotspot areas. While it’s too early to say it’s the answer, one can only hope that this would turn up for the betterment of everyone involved.