What is the End Gun Violence: Step Forward initiative?

The Savannah-Chatham initiative to End Gun Violence: Step Forward is an approach that will target the most violent groups and gangs members who are responsible for a majority of the shootings and homicides in our community.

Things have to change

This approach tells gang and group members to lay down their weapons.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Chatham County District Attorney’s Office have pledged their support to prosecute group and gang members tied to gun violence to the fullest extent of the law.

Social services are being offered to anyone who wants to get out of the cycle of violence.  Build-a-Bridge is a non-profit organization that will help individuals get the counseling, job training, and other services they need to help turn their lives around.

safe alive

This approach was created by the National Network for Safe Communities under the direction of Dr. David M. Kennedy and John Jay College President Jeremy Travis in 2009

More than 60 other cities across the United States have successfully implemented this sort of group violence reduction initiative.

The National Network focuses on supporting cities implementing proven strategic interventions to reduce violence and improve public safety, minimize arrest and incarceration, strengthen communities, and improve relationships between law enforcement and the communities it serves.  For more about The National Network click here (http://nnscommunities.org/)

put down guns

The project manager for the Savannah-Chatham initiative to End Gun Violence: Step Forward is Dr. Maxine Bryant.  Bryant is a Criminal Justice lecturer for Armstrong State University.  Previously, Bryant was the director of the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office Work Release Program and the director of Offender Reentry for the Indianapolis (IN) Mayor’s Office of Reentry.  Her role will be to coordinate all the social services, law enforcement resources and community outreach programs.  She has the knowledge, skills and abilities to lead this End Gun Violence initiative in our community.

Get Involved

Dr. Maxine Bryant, Project Manager

Dr. Bryant is the Project Manager for the End Gun Violence: Step Forward initiative.

For more information on the initiative itself or to contact Dr. Bryant directly please CLICK HERE or call 912-210-8035

Frederic Green, Outreach Coordinator

Green is the Outreach Coordinator for the End Gun Violence: Step Forward initiative.  His role is to create a support structure for gang and group members seeking services to turn their lives around.

To contact Green directly please CLICK HERE or call 912-210-8037

Help Is Available

The Salvation Army of Savannah is the non-profit agency that provides job training, counseling, and many more services for anyone who desires to lay the guns down and to improve their lives.

Voice of Redemption

Naquile Graham

“I wanted to be down with the click, but at the end of the day being down with the click doesn’t get you anywhere.  I ain’t never going back.  Now I’ve got a good record, on the good path, about to get my GED.  It feels good to be legit.  I don’t have to worry about the police running behind you.  It feels good to go to work, go home, go to sleep and do it all again.”

Voice of Pain

Pam Abraham

“When my sone was killed, one of the men who went to prison for killing him was 17 and I knew this kid. Now he’s spending the rest of his life in prison because he didn’t’ say anything.  He didn’t’ pull the trigger, but he didn’t say anything, he stood right there.  If you don’t say anything then you are becoming part of the problem, as opposed to the solution.”

Voice of Inspiration

Ronald Williams

“As a community are we doing enough to help stop the violence?  Are we talking enough, are we talking to the police?  Until we start talking and reporting crime, it is going to continue.  People can demonstrate and march until the cows come home; it’s not going to help.  We have to convince people to start talking and trusting in the law enforcement.  It will work, I know it will work, I guarantee it’s going to work.”