Dayton and Montgomery County: Where group-related gun violence is not tolerated.
In late 2008, people from throughout the Dayton area came together to declare that too many lives had been lost and broken by gun violence in our region. With determination and willingness to see through a long-term, community-based approach, the Communty Initiative to Reduce Gun Violence was launched.
CIRGV (pronounced "serve") brings together the community with law enforcement agencies in the cities of Dayton, and Trotwood, plus Montgomery County, to dramatically reduce the occurence of group-related gun violence.
Why is this effort to reduce gun crimes focused on groups? Because formal studies and practical experience show that most urban American gun violence occurs among small groups (people connected possibly by criminal activity but also by historical disputes and personal relationships). These groups produce both perpetrators and victims.
CIRGV is intervening in these circles of violence through an approach already successful in Boston, Cincinnati and other cities. Here's how:
"Calling in" groups of known offenders (when legally possible) to courtrooms, where they are directly and clearly informed of the consequences of gun violence (14 group call-ins were held from 2008 through 2012);
Involving and using the "moral voice" of community leaders, family members and peers;
Providing life-changing support services to those who want out of the cycle of violence;
Direct outreach to affected groups and individuals on the streets and wherever possible;
Improve communication and coordination among law enforcment agencies, with federal support.
Group-related gun violence in the CIRGV area began a downward trend after the program's inception. Homicides caused by group-related gun violence dropped from 14 in 2008 to two in 2012.
The CIRGV approach is long-term in nature. Problems of group-related gun violence don't go away overnight, but progress is underway. CIRGV partners and community remain commited to making Dayton and Montgomery County a better place for all through reducing group-related gun crimes.
If you want out of the life of violence, call the CIRGV Hotline at 937-694-2465.
For more information, contact CIRGV Community Coordinator Michelle Elder at 937-225-3019 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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