Jul 5, 2012

Police Officer Shot

The Daily News reports that a NYC Police Officer was shot early this morning pursuing an armed male in the Seward Houses on the Lower Eastside. The Officer's life was saved by his bullet proof vest. The good news is that Officer Brian Groove a 30 year old father of two is in stable condition, according to the News. The shooter is still at large.

 Combating gun violence in NYC is not easy given the more permissive gun ownership laws in many other states like Virginia and lack of a national consensus on gun control. The flood of illegal guns on NYC streets puts police officers and community members at risks.

Recent spikes in gun violence  in NYC have been attributed to the hot weather,  reduced police manpower , and the release of prisoners under the the state's effort to reduce incarceration. Yet, there is very little evidence offered to support these assertions (i.e. correlation is not causation). Rather than recycling old and unproven reasons for gun violence, we should look to solutions that really do seem to work. One such approach that shows promise is the CeaseFire model developed in Chicago. The Ceasefire approach uses a public health strategy that relies in part on reformed ex-offenders and gang members to conduct targeted outreach in response to shootings. CeaseFire uses community mobilization efforts and campaigns to make sure that gun violence is not accepted in the culture of a community. Chicago CeaseFire was recently tapped by the City of Chicago to expand its work and help Chicago combat a disturbing rise in gun violence. Our sister project in Brooklyn, the Crown Height Community Mediation Center, operates a Cease Fire demonstration site