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.
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.
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/)
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.