[Labor Day\Gun Violence]
Erica Ford: “Violence is a public health epidemic and our neighborhoods have been destabilized by COVID-19 and job loss. At the beginning of this year, CMS anticipated an increase in violence and we requested an additional $200 million from the city.
Photo: Rachel Noerdlinger
Labor Day weekend typically reflects an increase in violence in New York and other cities, yet this past weekend saw a dramatic decrease in shootings within areas patrolled by members of New York City’s Crisis Management System (CMS).
Some CMS zones, including that of Southeast Queens, reported zero shootings. In Brooklyn, a coalition of over 100 people patrolled the streets in orange together to prevent violence.
New York City has experienced an outbreak of gun violence – an uptick of over 210 shootings in the past 28 days. Recent shootings have occurred primarily in areas outside of the 24 zones with CMS-affiliated organizations operating.
“Violence is a public health epidemic and our neighborhoods have been destabilized by COVID-19 and job loss. At the beginning of this year, CMS anticipated an increase in violence and we requested an additional $200 million from the city to increase the size and scope of the CMS system. The city approved an increase of $10 million, which will allow us to add four new sites to the network. It is good but not nearly enough,’ says Erica Ford, CEO of LIFE Camp, Inc. and one of the architects of the New York City Crisis Management System. “The work we do is the solution, we need to invest in what works.”
“The community-based organizations and partners that make up the crisis management system are the secret ingredients making a difference and this weekend’s results have proven yet again that our presence and contribution to the public safety of New York is very important. We create opportunities for our community members to take a proper seat at the table in all the discussions that impact them and their neighborhoods. With the proper funding, we can cover more precincts and the City can feel more confident about a path to bringing violence to an all-time low,” says A.T. Mitchell, Man Up, Inc. and one of the architects of the New York City Crisis Management System.
For reference, the Independent Budget Office estimates that the NYPD will exceed its overtime cap by $400 million this fiscal year, bringing the city spending on overtime hours to $668 million in the 2021 budget. Overall, the CMS receives roughly ⅓ of a penny for every dollar the NYPD receives. The Crisis Management System is a network of 24 community sites working in collaboration with 60+ community based organizations and ten city agencies to co-produce public safety in New York City.