‘Cure Violence Columbus’ assessment phase set to begin
COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A crime prevention initiative is ready to move to the next step. $500,000 is being spent on the program that’s designed to stop crime before it happens.
Cure Violence Columbus is looking to begin an assessment on the Fountain City’s crime.
“If we drill down to his past, we’re going to see at least one or two aces in that past,” said Reggie Lewis, Cure Violence Columbus.
Lewis is referring to adverse childhood experiences and the suspect charged in a two-day, two-state shooting spree that sent five people to the hospital over the weekend.
Lewis says that, despite the possible half-million dollar price tag, their goal is to come up with a plan that prevents this kind of crime with early intervention.
Some might argue that $500,000 could put a lot more police on the streets.
“And that’s the problem, people want to throw police at it and you can’t just throw police at it. Violence is the end result, it’s not what started it. So, if we can stop the gates from being open and flooding with all these adverse conditions and make them good, then we can stop the violence,” added Lewis.
In short, they’re not fighting today’s crime. Lewis says they’re working to prevent tomorrow’s crime.
Lewis says a $25,000 grant is paying for a four-phase assessment that will yield specific answers on how to get in front of potentially violent offenders under this program.
“It’s a very different concept because we’re not looking at the folks committing the violence as criminals. We’re actually looking at them as humans and thinking, “Why did you commit the crime or commit the violent act?”,” Lewis explained.
During the assessment, he says they will review the data, make some on-site visits at crime hot spots around town, and finally put the plan into action.
While ‘Cure Violence’ is busy behind the scenes, citizens are still mixed on how it will play out.
“As far as all the shootings and everything, I don’t see anything happening as far as that program they’re talking about. I don’t see any action put into play right know,” said Devonte Davis, Columbus resident.
“I think it would actually better our youth. I think it would actually better our youth a lot if y’all had a program like that. It would set stepping stones,” added John Greer, Columbus resident. “If they bought into it mentally, and they actually went forward with it, and people wanted to change themselves, people wanted to change their outlook on life, but if you don’t want to change, then you’re never going to change.”
According to Lewis, the hope is to stop violent crime across the city of Columbus by redirecting people’s energy into something positive such as activities, job training, or getting GEDs.
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