BUFFALO, N.Y- In his State of the City address last week, Mayor Byron Brown announced plans to launch a new violence prevention program that targets gang involvement and at-risk youth.
"We've been working on that for almost a year now with some of the violence prevention organizations in the community, Voice Buffalo and other organizations," said Mayor Brown.
Brown said the plan, called the 'Peacemakers Gang Intervention Program,' will be modeled after three nationally recognized anti-gang programs in Boston, Providence, and Stockton, California.
“All have robust programs that have been pretty effective in terms of providing intervention, prevention, being proactive, trying to stop incidents before they happen, reaching out to young people and young adults who have gang affiliation," said Mayor Brown.
Brown says the cost of such a program would run about $300 thousand. He says about a third of that money is in place right now. The rest would come from donations.
"We are hoping to attract some foundation money as well, hoping potentially to attract money from the faith based community, potentially from the corporate community," said Mayor Brown.
Fresh on the heels of the Mayors announcement, Senator Tim Kennedy called on the Governor this weekend to reinstate funding for the anti violence SNUG program.
"When these funds have been implemented in the past, gang violence and violence with guns in our communities had substantially decreased," said Kennedy.
Brown says details of the program are still being worked out, and the person who will head the program has yet to be hired.
Brown insists the gang problem here is not as bad in some cities. Still, he says the plan is to make sure the problem doesn't get any worse.
"We believe with this best practice, we can be even more successful in reducing crime in the city," said Mayor Brown.