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De Blasio to expand violence interrupter program to Queens precinct

Only blocks from an anti gun violence rally in which a 62-year-old church caretaker was shot to death in a church yesterday, a man in his late 20Õs was shot in the stomach on Chauncey Street in Bedford Stuyvesant Brooklyn. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

In his morning address this Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he’s expanding the violence interrupters programs and other community initiatives in southeast Queens to stave off spikes in crime and gun violence.  

De Blasio said the $1.1 million investment will expand the Crisis Management System (CMS) network of violence interrupters into the 105th Precinct, which comprises the Laurelton, Rosedale, and Springfield Gardens neighborhoods, building on the city’s Safe Summer NYC Plan. 

The announcement comes during an ongoing spike in gun violence citywide, about 78 to 80% compared to the same time last year. In the last month alone, the 105th Precinct has seen four recorded instances of shootings, said NYPD’s data, totaling seven shootings in 2021 compared to last year’s three.

Two new groups will join the CMS to work in the precinct, King of Kings and 100 Suits for 100 Men. The city’s investment will be to fully staffing the organizations by the end of June.

“We live here, and we are committed to doing better, by helping to build a stronger, safer, closer community,” said The King of Kings Founder Lance Feurtado in a statement.

Kevin Livingston, founder and president of 100 Suits for 100 Men, said in the briefing that he was incredibly excited to have these resources available and get out in front of the neighborhood’s youth. 

“We will have the expertise to really get out there and out in front of the gun violence and make sure that it does not go to places where it doesn’t need to go,” said Livingston. “I’m excited to create job opportunities for our youth and continue to create job opportunities for our youth.”

Recently-elected Councilmember Selvena N. Brooks-Powers said she’s worked with both groups before and that the investment in the community’s safety couldn’t come at a better time.

“Last night I attended the Concerned Citizens of Laurelton meeting and I was asked what are we going to do about the increase in shootings, and just two days ago in Springfield Gardens there were shots fired where there were three shells recovered,” said Brooks-Powers.

“Expanding the Crisis Management System into my district is a necessary investment as we seek ways to combat the surge in gun violence with an increase in access and reach to much needed social services,” added Brooks-Powers.

“The 105th Precinct has one of the largest geographic areas to cover, with nearly 13 square miles and 354 miles of roadway. It is extremely difficult to maintain the peace in our communities, and many are overwhelmed,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr. in a statement.

Richards said the cure violence expansion is welcomed and that every effort needs to be made to stop gun violence and invest in in neighborhoods while keeping them safe.

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