Group discusses deployment of ‘violence interrupters’ to fight crime in Dallas

Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. shares their plan to help crime hot spots in Dallas. The city council will officially vote on a contract with the agency on April 28.

DALLAS – A violent weekend has kept police in Dallas County busy. Crimes involving senseless gun violence have left at least seven young people dead.

“I actually heard about five to six gunshots,” said Evan Adegbayi, who was a guest at a hotel where a 17-year-old was shot and killed. “It’s unreal and it doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense to me.

RELATED: Lancaster High School Football Star, University of Wyoming Rookie Killed in Dallas Hotel Shootout

The Dallas City Council Public Safety Committee is once again considering strategies to tackle violent crime as summer approaches.

On Monday, the committee heard a presentation from Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. The city of Dallas has hired a nationally recognized nonprofit to launch its Stop Violence Program.

“We are going to meet people from the community. We’re going to cover the neighborhoods, ”said Gary Ivory of Youth Advocate Programs, Inc.

Violence Interrupters make it their mission to get to crime hot spots, engage with neighbors, and connect them with resources in hopes of helping make communities safer. Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. already has successful role models in cities like Chicago, Washington, DC, and Baltimore.

“This is what we do, is to hire people in the targeted area, who know this neighborhood, who must trust the young people, trust the family, as well as be able to interact with the police and the forces. order, ”Ivory explained.

During the same public safety meeting, the Dallas Police Department offered updates on their violent crime reduction plan.

The data show that homicides and aggravated assaults remain the main areas of concern. There have been 51 homicides so far this year, including 12 in March. There were 469 aggravated assaults in the same month. Gang-related and drug-related incidents are also on the rise.

These statistics are another reason some members of the Public Safety Committee are optimistic about the violence interrupts in the community.

“I’m glad we were able to add this program,” said Councilor Lee Kleinman.

The City of Dallas is budgeting $ 800,000 from its general fund for the Violence Interrupters initiative. It will be put to the vote of the entire board on April 28.


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