Mayor Jim Kenney joined with the members of the Philadelphia City Council Wednesday to announce new initiatives to help assist communities most impacted by gun violence.
City officials are working together to implement two main initiatives based around group violence intervention and rapid response outreach.
“There is no single solution to gun violence. We need a multi-pronged approach and collaboration at every level of City government to address this problem,” said City Council President Darrell L. Clarke.
Clarke added, “Whether it’s prohibiting guns at City recreation centers, so our children have safe havens where they can play; increasing employment opportunities for our youth who are most at-risk of gun violence; or stepping up the City’s efforts at neighborhood policing and social services through the Group Violence Intervention initiative, we need to do everything in our power to make Philadelphia safer for all our citizens.”
The group violence intervention initiative involves the city working closely with the District Attorney’s Office and other partners, to focus on a deterrence methods. According to a press release, this strategy focuses on high-risk individuals in hot spots, which include those pushing drugs and repeat offenders.
Additionally, the city will offer incentives for compliance and swift consequences for criminal activities. It will be fully funded by officials and will be implanted in West Philly this spring.
The rapid response outreach initiative will give communities who witness gun violence immediate trauma support, help getting long-term counseling, immediate structural and streetscape repairs, long-term blight remediation and improved street lighting and information on other social services and anti-violence resources, according to officials.
Additionally, the Kenney administration transmitted the City Council legislation a mid-year budget transfer of $3.88 million to the Managing Director’s Office to help strengthen the initiatives already in place. Here are the existing anti-violence initiatives the funds will be supporting:
• Community Crisis Intervention Program
• Police Assisted Diversion
• Targeted Community Investment Grants
• Workforce Development
• Support for the evaluation of the effectiveness of these programs