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‘Our team can go places the police can’t’: Group works to end gun violence in Greensboro

Piedmont Triad News

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — A group in Greensboro is trying to stop violence before it starts.

The Cure Violence organization works in Greensboro and Winston-Salem.

“It works. It doesn’t solve everything, but it helps solve some,” said Ingram Bell, program manager for Cure Violence. “Our team can go places the police can’t,” says Bell. 

Rather than relying on police to tackle the problem, Cure Violence takes a preventative approach by looking at the root cause of violence. 

“Sometimes it’s senseless. A lot of times it’s driven by being able to take care of their family,” Bell said.

 The program focused on the Martin Luther King Jr. Corridor and Smith Homes.

A team of seven served as violence interrupters.

Bell tells FOX8 she has seen some success including helping to get some participants off probation and helping ex-felons gain employment. She says more work still needs to be done. 

“There are so many homicides going on in the city. We need more than just one program that covers just one small area. We need more sites in the city for Cure Violence. We need more funding and grants to help get sites we need in the city. A team of seven can’t save the city.,” she said.

Other organizations like the Boys and Girls Club works to not only get kids off the street but also to empower them.

At Monday’s City Council meeting, Greensboro Police Chief Brian James addressed the uptick in violence.

Since Jan. 1 of 2020, the city has had 108 homicides, and 91 of the victims were African American.

Police also had a record year for seizing guns with more than1,500 taken off the streets 

“Police are doing their jobs in getting guns off the street. It’s going to take an entire community to band together…to get the work done,” Bell said.

Winston-Salem recently adopted the Cure Violence Initiative, but Bell says she would like to see more in and surrounding the Triad.

She also says there needs to be some free after-school programs kids can go to to help them stay out of trouble. 

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