Monday, February 10, 2014
Hunts Point News: Former Gang Bangers Reach Out to Stop Gun Violence...: Former Gang Bangers Reach Out to Stop Gun Violence BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 10- A cutting-edge statewide gun and gang violence p...
Former Gang Bangers Reach Out to Stop Gun Violence
BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 10- A cutting-edge statewide gun and gang violence prevention program – Operation SNUG – received a $300,000 award from State Senator Jeff Klein to operate in The Bronx’s Jacobi Medical Center. The hospital also generously chipped in another $50,000 to the anti-gun violence effort.
Operation SNUG – guns spelled backwards – is an aggressive, on the ground program that brings reformed gang members and criminals to hotbed street corners to teach their hard-learned lessons to troubled youths. Acting as “violence interrupters” these individuals will be on the front lines, facing down potentially violent confrontations in some of New York City’s toughest neighborhoods. Expanding on the program’s past success, violence interrupters will be on the ground in the Bronx to mediate disputes before guns are drawn.
Senator Klein was the only elected official in New York City to secure SNUG funding for his district in 2014. The new program builds on the anti-gun momentum Senator Klein began last year when he co-authored and helped passed the NY SAFE Act, a new law which finally gives New York the toughest gun laws in the country.
“I’m proud that I was able to deliver $300,000 to the people in the Bronx who need this program the most. SNUG’s aggressive and proven approach makes it clear to our young people that guns and gang violence do not need to be a way of life,” said Senator Klein. “Our violence interrupters can reach these kids in a way that no one else can. Their inspiring stories teach kids that gun violence is not worth the tragedy and jail time that too often tear apart our communities. This initiative, along with the NY SAFE Act, are essential tools in our fight to eliminate gun violence,” Klein added.
The state’s Division of Criminal Services (DCJS) selected Jacobi Medical Center Auxiliary, Inc. to run the Operation SNUG program. Thanks to Senator Klein’s advocacy, the Bronx was one of only seven areas selected across the state for part of $2.18 million in funding for the initiative this year.
The funds present an exciting opportunity for Jacobi Medical Center to take an active role in the community it serves.
“More and more hospitals have to operate without walls. The funds we have obtained through DCJS and Senator Klein’s office will allow us to have a community based Injury Prevention program. Now our Auxiliary will be able to help patients in many more ways than ever before. Additional resources including violence interrupters, focused recreational programs, clinical social work intervention and follow-up will provide us with the opportunity to take preemptive measures and ensure that young adults are safe from violence” said William P. Walsh, Executive Director of Jacobi Medical Center and North Central Bronx Hospital.
Violence interrupters will target areas that are known to police as breeding grounds of violence, places where, unfortunately, problems have in the past been solved by guns.
“As a doctor, I have seen too many kids killed or maimed for life as a result of the senseless destruction of bullets. I became an activist because treating wounds just wasn’t enough, we need to attack this problem at is source. Thanks to this DCJS grant and Senator Klein’s efforts, we’ll be able to do just that. Approaching the gun violence epidemic with a community-centered violence prevention program is the most effective way of ensuring these kids never get injured or have to cross through the doors of our Emergency Room.‘ said Dr. Sheldon Teperman; Trauma Service Director and Board Member of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.
“Empirical evidence shows that hospital-based interventions are extremely effective. This new program and the research it produces will allow us not only to gain an insight to those who are affected by gun violence but also to make an impact on these individuals lives,” added Dr. Stephen Blumberg.
The program could shield another mother from the agony that Elizabeth Thompson went through when her 19-year-old son, Shawn Lamont Williams, was fatally shot nearby her Bronx home.
“As a mother who has lost a child, I’m doing everything in my power to prevent another parent from enduring the same pain I have experienced. A Bronx SNUG program may be too late for my son, but if it saves one young person’s life it’s worth every penny. Thank you Senator Klein for listening,” said Thompson, member of North Central Bronx Hospital’s Community Advisory Board and a member of the North Bronx/Westchester Chapter of Parents of Murdered Children, Inc.
Some of the violence interrupters will be recruited by a local pastor, who has experience in counseling high risk youth.
“This is a very significant program that we are bringing to The Bronx. In my line of work I eulogize a lot of young men from street violence. I believe that this is a way that we can save lives. This program will be a definite blessing to the community,” said Rev. Joseph Gooding of Fellowship Tabernacle Ministries.
Operation SNUG was heralded by Community Precinct Councils across the borough, Community Board No. 10 and New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Gunmen Chicken Out?
By Dan Gesslein
BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 6- Maybe they should have just ordered the combo deal. A pair of crooks who tried to rob a Morrisania takeout restaurant left empty handed but left cops with some good images of the gunmen.
At around 1 a.m. on January 25, two men walked into the Kennedy Fried Chicken on East 169th Street and demanded cash. One of the men pulled out a handgun and tried to rob the takeout joint but left empty handed.
Police released surveillance video of the attempted stickup. Both men wore hoodies but only one covered his face. The gunman wore a scarf or ski mask over his mouth but his accomplice did not. His face is seen on the video appearing to talk into a cell phone before the holdup.
The thieves are described as two men in their 20s. Anyone with information is urged to call CRIMESTOPPERS at (800) 577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
All calls are strictly confidential.