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WTVM Editorial 2-17-21: It’s time to Cure Violence

(Source: Facebook/Lonsdale Police Department)
(Source: Facebook/Lonsdale Police Department)(Facebook/Lonsdale Police Department)
Published: Mar. 19, 2021 at 5:22 PM EDT
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(WTVM) - The City of Columbus is embracing a promising program called Cure Violence to slow down the shocking rate of violent crime.

It’s a worthy concept – and if you research it, you’ll find the Cure Violence program has shown good results in other cities in reversing violent trends.

Cure Violence trains people they identify as “credible messengers” such as pastors, coaches, mentors and other leaders, to confront and teach residents in chronically violent neighborhoods to reject choices that lead to bloodshed.

We know violence is the number one cause of death for minority males aged 15 to 24.

Cure Violence takes the approach that violent acts are a public health emergency; we must identify the disease and then aggressively go after the causes.

Cure Violence in Columbus will cost half a million dollars to train those messengers in how to interrupt the chain of violence and establish new, healthy norms.

Police know that residents at high-risk of experiencing violence often live in a culture where respect is earned through violent acts.

The program Cure Violence works to up end that model.

How? By teaching high-risk individuals that it’s okay to walk away from a fight.

And to teach them to reject violence as payback, or as a way to acquire status.

Cure Violence seems like a program well worth supporting in a city that had 46 homicides last year.

But the Cure Violence program alone won’t work unless other elements are addressed, too. Things like helping to bring jobs, economic development and home ownership to these impoverished and often neglected communities.

Also, we must address ways to help keep more families intact and more fathers involved, especially in the lives of young men.

We endorse the Cure Violence initiative as a good step toward breaking down dangerous habits, allowing healthier choices to take their place and creating a new culture that values life, not violence.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings an editorial a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to hsteuart@wtvm.com or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee

1909 Wynnton Road

Columbus, GA 31906

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