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City Ponders Whether 'Cure Violence' Is A Solution To Gun Violence

Gun violence in Tallahassee continues. And now the city’s Council on Gun Violence is out with a recommendation. It wants to bring a nationally-known program called Cure Violence to the area.

Cure Violence started in Chicago, and it uses neighborhood volunteers to diffuse potentially deadly situations. The model is based off the idea that violent crime should be treated like a disease, and that prevention is key. In places where it’s been implemented, it has worked. But there’s a cost to bringing it to Tallahassee: about $400,000. Florida A&M University researcher Ed Clark says that’s a drop in the hat compared to what it costs the community when someone is shot.

Where there is opportunity there is hope. And some people in these areas, they've lost hope.

“If they die or not, they have to go to the emergency room. You’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s not only what the hospital would incur, what about law enforcement having to show up there, what about the resources in having to do an investigation?” He said.

Council chairwoman Gloria Pugh, President of AMWAT moving warehousing and storage, says the proposal is to put a "Cure Violence" program at one site in the city. Her business is located on the Southside--one of the areas identified as a hot spot for gun violence likely to occur.

“There are awesome neighborhoods in the Southside that are fabulous places for people to live. It’s just that we have several sectors in our community that are challenged and we need to turn those sectors around," said Pugh. "We need to ensure that in those sectors we can curb crime and that opportunity comes back to those areas. Because where there is opportunity there is hope. And some people in these areas, they’ve lost hope.”

Local officers are expressing concerns about the cost of the program. A public workshop on the proposal is set for Wednesday afternoon between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. It will be held inside the City Commission Chambers in City Hall.