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BUFFALO – Today, Mayor Byron Brown announced the launch of the Buffalo Peacemakers Gang Intervention Program, a new public safety initiative that strengthens community and faith-based organizations’ ability to further enhance safety and reduce crime in neighborhoods across Buffalo.
“We all share responsibility for the safety of our streets,” said Mayor Brown. “This effort further strengthens our focus on crime prevention and builds on strong partnerships between the city, law enforcement and the community. This effort helps us continue the important work we’ve already started to prevent violence and reduce its impact, especially in at-risk neighborhoods. I look forward to this partnership with Buffalo Peacemakers, giving them the tools they need to further strengthen and secure our great city.”
Modeled after the nationally recognized and highly effective gang intervention programs in Boston, Massachusetts, Providence, Rhode Island and Stockton, California, Buffalo Peacemakers bring together six existing peacemaking groups in Buffalo: Back to Basics, Buffalo United Front, F.A.T.H.E.R.S., MAD DADS, No More Tears, and the Stop the Violence Coalition.
It also brings together the following partners: VOICE Buffalo, Sister Karen Klimczak Center, PUSH Buffalo, Buffalo Police, Catholic Charities, WNY Peace Center and Interfaith Network. Financial Partners include: City of Buffalo, Oishei Foundation, Wendt Foundation, Local 1199 SEIU, New Mt. Ararat Temple, Elim Christian Fellowship.
Under the leadership of Pastor James Giles of Back to Basics, Buffalo Peacemakers will:
- provide a visible presence to youth and young adults (ages 13-21) during designated special events
- work to resolve conflicts between youth and young adults and prevent acts of retaliation
- offer mentoring, alternatives to crime and violence
- serve as a resource to families for various youth programs and services
- support families that have been impacted by violent crime
The Peacemakers will consist of staff members who will receive a stipend, in addition to volunteers, who have already had a positive presence at Juneteenth and Gus Macker this year.
Mayor Brown was an early financial supporter of the program, committing $200,000 over two years to the Peacemakers Gang Intervention Program, leveraging the additional funds needed to implement the program. Other funding came from the Oishei Foundation, the Wendt Foundation, a donation from Local 1199 SEIU and additional funding from local churches.
Peacemakers will work in concert with law enforcement officials to build safe neighborhoods in the City of Buffalo. Buffalo Peacemakers will receive training from the Buffalo Police Department, staff from the Streetworkers program of Providence, Rhode Island; the Rev. Vivian Waltz of the Sister Karen Klimczak Center; and Ms. Victoria Ross, of the WNY Peace Center and Interfaith Peace Network. The full launch of the program is Monday, August 12, 2013.
Photo Credit : City of Buffalo