In his latest effort to address the spike in violent crime that has plagued the city for much of the past year, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today the expansion of Cure Violence programs in several new police precincts, including three in Brooklyn.
The “Cure Violence” movement, also referred to as the “Crisis Management System” or more broadly as “violence interrupters,” is a collection of community groups that work to preempt violence in city neighborhoods.
At a press event this morning, de Blasio said he would be expanding the program to Brooklyn’s 69th precinct in Canarsie, 70th precinct in Flatbush and 71st precinct in Crown Heights. The 49th Precinct in the Bronx and the 103rd Precinct in Queens will also implement the program, bringing the total number of precincts with Cure Violence initiatives to 29.
“All of them will now have this extraordinary initiative saving lives, stopping conflict, avoiding retaliation, doing the fundamental community-based things that go far beyond our normal conception of public safety,” de Blasio said. “This is the new way of doing public safety.”
“Obviously, we need all pieces of the equation and we do need always the work of the NYPD,” he added. “But this is the community-based piece that can be more and more of the solution.”
The mayor had previously announced funding to bring the program to the 69th and 71st precincts lasts year.
At today’s event, he also said he would seek to double the Cure Violence Workforce by June 1st.
De Blasio was joined in the announcement by East Flatbush Council Member Farah Louis, who said the program would help combat a potential summer spike in gun violence,
“Cure Violence providers are a crucial part in de-escalating the underlying tensions across the city,” said Louis.
“I look forward to the new implementation that will position us to better address the root causes of gang and gun violence,” she added.
The announcement comes days after de Blasio introduced a plan to reform the NYPD that looks to rid the department of bias. The proposals include rewriting the NYPD’s patrol guide and requiring the department to make body-camera footage public within a shorter time frame.
That plan came in response to an executive order from Governor Andrew Cuomo requiring local governments to propose police reforms by April 1. But some advocacy groups and activists have criticized the mayor’s proposals, saying they don’t go far enough.