GREENSBORO, N.C. — City leaders of Greensboro say they are confident that the $500,000 “Cure Violence Program” will help reduce the city’s large violent crime statistics.
On Tuesday, city council members voted to approve the funds for the program to be implemented in Greensboro.
“We are not going to let the people shooting up our city win,” Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan said during her passionate address to the city. “We are going to take out city back. We are going to take our front yards back and we know, at some point, little kids are going to be able to sit on their front porches and they are going to be able to play in their front yards. And we are going to do it together and this is our first step.”
FOX8 sat down with Yvonne Johnson Monday who has been tapped with helping lead the program.
“It is frustrating, The violence across the country is frustration,” Johnson said.
She explained that 20% of the funds will go toward the training of the employees hired for “Cure Violence.”
The rest will go toward the hiring of those six employees, the space they will use, their supplies and other variables that they encounter for the fiscal 2020 year.
“This is not a cure-all,” Johnson said.
They will focus on two target areas: Martin Luther King Drive and Smith Homes.
They will hire two “Violence Interrupters.”
These are people who will be the ones who focus on trying to stop violent offenders from committing violent acts. This will include a variety of methods like simply talking with them.
“These are people who know the community, who have rapport with people in the community, who can get information out of people,” Johnson said.
She also said that these will be people who have committed past crimes but who have turned their lives around.
The next people hired will be outreach persons.
These are people who will be the ones who go out and interact with the community at the two target areas.
The last two will include an on-site supervisor and one outreach supervisor.
Johnson explained that the space being looked at will be placed between MLK Drive and Smith Homes. She said this will make it easier for program officials to focus on both sites heavily.
The program is expected to be up and running by the beginning of next year.
City leaders said that if things turn out successful, they will begin to target other crime locations.