JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – A new strategy to reduce gun violence is getting off the ground in Jackson.
The program is called “Group Violence Intervention.” It’s a plan focused on keeping the people that are highest at risk for violence, safe, alive and out of prison. Leaders say that starts with meeting them right where they are by offering personal help from the community.
“From law enforcement to social services to community members and those three entities work together,” said GVI Coordinator, Cherly Ragland.
As one group they will go to the homes of people that have been identified as high risks for violence such as people who are on probation or parole, as well as others from the juvenile system. They call it a custom notification.
“Let them know look we know that you are on the radar we’re not here to arrest anyone but we just want to let you know that the violence has to stop. What you are doing has to stop. What you are doing can be changed. The trajectory of your life can be changed. That’s what we’re here to do,” said Ragland.
They’ll be offered ways to get connected to community resources for help. It’s a human approach that leaders say has been sweeping the country and showing success. Jackson Mayor Daniel Mahoney says this is one of many approaches the city needs to take.
“For us to have a community that is going to continue forward with progress. This is an issue that cannot be left solely to our law enforcement to solve, solely to our local government to solve and solely to our community leaders to solve. We have to work collaboratively across the board,” said Mahoney.
The team says it has worked with the National Network for Safe Communities to make plans and support systems specific to Jackson.
“Hopefully for the Jackson community, it uplifts the community. It gets the community involved,” said Ragland.
Leaders also say new data shows that violent crime in the city is going down compared to previous years.