WASHINGTON (WDVM) — District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser, the Director for Gun Violence Prevention, Linda K. Harllee Harper and the Director of the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (ONSE), Del McFadden, announced the District’s plan to expand violence prevention efforts on Thursday, December 9.
The expansion of the efforts will be in three new communities: Congress Park, Shaw and Edgewood.
“We are throwing every resource at the rise in violent crime,” said Mayor Bowser. “We’re expanding our efforts to reach people before they get involved in violence. We’re finding and reaching out to people who want a new path forward. We want people to know that we have resources and opportunities to support them, and these violence intervention teams are doing the critical work of getting that word out and connecting people to the many programs we have available that can help them change their lives.”
Along with the expansion, ONSE is creating a team of violence interrupters who will be available to respond to critical incidents with peacemaking efforts in areas of the city that are not currently designated as a priority community. In those priority communities, there will be an addition of more violence interrupters, which will ensure 25 communities across seven of the eight wards will have over 80 people working in this effort.
Later in December 2021, the Office of Gun Violence Prevention will make $1.1 million in grants available to community-based and nonprofit organizations that are working to reduce gun violence. The grants will require partnerships between entities or organizations working on gun violence reduction efforts.