Mayor de Blasio, City Council Launch Mayor's Office to Prevent Gun Violence
New York City already has lowest incidence of gun violence of any major U.S. city: 2016 had the fewest shootings in over 30 years
NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio today announced the creation of the Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence. Housed within the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, the new Office will oversee an expansion of effective, innovative violence intervention strategies. The City is investing $22.5 million this fiscal year, split between the Administration and the City Council. In the future, the Administration is investing $16 million annually.
“When I talk to people across this city, it’s clear that New Yorkers in every neighborhood are united in their desire for safe streets,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Law enforcement is critical in reducing gun violence, but we also need to change a culture in which conflicts too often escalate to shootings. Today, we are inviting all New Yorkers to become our partners in this fight – together, we can make it clear that gun violence has no place in New York City.”
“2016 was the safest year on record in New York City history. The Office to Prevent Gun Violence – along with neighborhood policing – will enable us to further reduce crime. I’m grateful to the effort from law enforcement, the Mayor, the Council, and most importantly our local communities who continue to work collectively with us to keep our neighborhoods safe,” said Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill.
Eric L Cumberbatch, Executive Director of the Mayor's Office to Prevent Gun Violence said, “The launch of the Mayor's Office to Prevent Gun Violence is a true testament to the power of government and community working hand in hand to promote safety and synergy from within. OPGV will coordinate, amplify and organize community based efforts to develop and deploy innovative strategies to continue to reduce gun violence citywide. OPGV will do this by working together with our justice partners, community based organizations, clergy, residents, and credible messengers to meet the complex challenges of gun violence, which are multifaceted and go way beyond the gun.”
“Gun violence has dropped to thirty-year lows and driving it down further will require innovative strategies that include traditional law enforcement and extend beyond to engage residents and neighborhoods as partners in fighting crime,” said Elizabeth Glazer, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. “The new Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence will be the backbone of these innovative strategies, overseeing an expanded City commitment to deploy ‘credible messengers’ who work tirelessly to interrupt conflict before violence erupts and increasing support and resources in neighborhoods with a historically high concentration of gun violence.”
“We are excited to join the Mayor in announcing the creation of the Office to Prevent Gun Violence,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “We are thankful for the Mayor's commitment to expand the Cure Violence program, which the Health Department has been implementing with community partners for the last four years. This office allows for sustained action and strong interagency and community collaboration to keep New Yorkers safe.”
“Since taking office, Mayor de Blasio has invested millions in new lights, security cameras, infrastructure improvements and programs that are making a meaningful difference in our communities,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. “Thanks to this intensive collaborative effort led by the Mayor, Queensbridge Houses has gone a year without a single shooting.”
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said, “I have committed my entire career to combating the senseless bloodshed in our streets, and I could not be prouder of the incredible work that violence interrupters and community advocates have achieved in advancing peace across our city. The City’s Crisis Management System works because it invests in proven public health strategies that address the societal challenges associated with gun violence, and we need to keep investing in its growth and development. Community and police, in partnership, are making reductions in violence possible. I stand shoulder to shoulder with Mayor de Blasio as well as every woman and man who has dedicated their heart and soul to making New York City a safer place to raise healthy children and families.”