Community to Have a Say in Mayor’s Group Violence Reduction Strategy
Tuesday Oct 19th, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement will Host Meetings to Gather Community Feedback on Public Safety Initiative
BALTIMORE, MD. (Tuesday, October 19, 2021) – Starting Wednesday, October 20th, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (MONSE), the State Attorney’s Office, and the Baltimore Police Department will participate in community conversations facilitated by the Baltimore Community Mediation Center to help inform the City’s Group Violence Reduction Strategy(GVRS) — a key part of Mayor Brandon M. Scott’s Comprehensive Violence Prevention Plan.
“Since my first day in office, I have made it clear that we must collaborate with our residents to garner feedback on our strategies and make Baltimore a safer, and better, place to live,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “This is about hearing to understand what is going on in our city at the ground-level, not just listening to residents but factoring their say into how we shape our strategy. GVRS has failed before when it lacked community input. We can not afford to have it fail again. I urge everyone to participate. It’s imperative that Baltimore City owns this strategy and is fully invested in its success.”
“We know we cannot simply arrest or prosecute our way to a safer future,” said MONSE Director Shantay Jackson. “We recognize the harm that has been done to our communities. It is vital that we center our residents in these conversations to ensure that we develop trauma-informed practices. Neighborhood engagement is a key part of MONSE’s work and an overriding component of GVRS and our Comprehensive Violence Prevention Plan as a whole.”
Representatives from City Hall will be in attendance to discuss various agencies’ commitments to GVRS and their roles in enacting the Mayor’s public safety strategy.
Schedule of community feedback sessions:
October 20, 6pm - 9pm
Robert C. Marshall Recreational Center, 1201 Pennsylvania Ave, Baltimore, MD 21217
October 21, 6pm - 9pm
Greenmount Recreational Center, 2304 Greenmount Ave, Baltimore, MD 21218
October 27, 6pm - 9pm
November 14, 1pm - 4pm
Cahill Recreational Center, 4001 Clifton Ave, Baltimore, MD 21216
November 18, 6pm - 9pm
Morrell Park Recreational Center, 2651 Tolley St, Baltimore, MD 21230
November 20, 1pm - 4pm
Virtual Session, link will be provided to RSVPs.
Please visit https://monse.baltimorecity.gov/gvrs for an up-to-date list of meetings.
Food will be provided at each session. To ensure proper COVID-19 safety protocols for
in-person participants, please RSVP by calling (443) 901-8355.
GVRS is an approach that facilitates direct, sustained engagement with the small number of group-involved individuals through a partnership of community leaders, social service providers, employers, and law enforcement standing and acting together. The focus is explicitly on homicide and serious violence. Successful implementations of GVRS in the United States have resulted in a 30 – 60 percent reduction in homicides.
GVRS relies on strong collaboration between community members, support and outreach providers, and law enforcement. These partners engage directly with those most intimately involved in and affected by gun violence to keep them safe, alive, and free – supporting them in their daily lives, communicating community norms in support of everybody’s safety and success, and where necessary, creating swift, certain, and legitimate accountability for violence.
GVRS is a major component of the Mayor’s Comprehensive Violence Prevention Plan. As part of our public health approach to violence, GVRS offers alternative opportunities and improved life outcomes to individuals at the highest risk of involvement in gun violence. The Mayor’s Office has teamed with the State Attorney’s Office and Baltimore Police Department to launch this pilot program in the Western District later this fall.