Jackson City Council allocates $1.5 million for gun violence prevention

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JACKSON CITY COUNCIL_27970

JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — Jackson City Council has voted unanimously to use $1.5 million dollars to create the Group Violence Intervention (GVI) program.

The funds are coming from the American Rescue Plan.

Mayor Derek Dobies proposed $1.5 million to help aid with gun violence intervention.

Communities across the country and right here in Michigan have seen reductions in shootings thanks to GVI programs. It’s time for a different response to shootings that involves the entire community, and makes sure none of our residents continue to choose a life of violence.”

Mayor Derek Dobies

The next five years of the GVI program will be funded through the allocated $1.5 million dollars, first contracting the National Network for Safe Communities (NNSC) at John Jay College; creating solutions that are specific to the Jackson area.

After the Jackson Police Department worked with the NNSC in 2019, it was determined that smaller groups were responsible for gun violence, which led to consistent shootings and even retaliation.

Additionally, the plan will have a social worker and program coordinator working at the police department to create GVI solutions.

Elmer Hitt, the Director of Jackson Police and Fire Services, says that his department has looked into GVI for the past three years- but budget-related COVID-19 concerns put a stop to GVI consideration.

It’s no secret we have a gun violence problem here in Jackson. Law enforcement
alone cannot solve this problem, and this new approach will bring in many other entities to address
gun violence in a way we have never seen before. I firmly believe this is a strategy that will show some
results.”

Elmer Hitt

Despite the allocation of funds being made, it will take several months for the program to start.

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