NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Dozens of Night Out Against Crime events were held across the area, including Tuesday night’s event in New Orleans.
Not only did community members and law enforcement leaders come together, the mayor announced a new initiative aimed at reducing violent crime.
City leaders and law enforcement hosted tonight’s event.
“There is no sanctuary neighborhood, there’s no force field, there’s no asylum. Wherever you live in this community, you can be touched by crime, so it’s incumbent on all of us to do all we can to try and alleviate it,” said Councilmember Jay Banks.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell remembered the story of Chance Smith, a teenager in Algiers who was shot and killed in August. Smith’s story is one reason among many for an anti-crime initiative Cantrell is calling “Cure Violence.”
“Cure Violence will build upon the work of Ceasefire, but this is not about a slogan. It’s about embracing the fact we need to cure violence across the board. The Cure Violence is focused on creating social and behavioral campaigns to reduce violence and attack the problem at its core,” said Cantrell.
The Ceasefire program uses violence interrupters and outreach workers with street credibility to interrupt or prevent violent situations. Cure Violence intends to stop the spread of violence by viewing it as disease. NOPD Chief Michael Harrison reminded people that it takes an entire community to change a criminal culture.
“Exchanging information where we can talk about crime, and solutions to come and teach members to be more proactive with members of their own solutions,” said Harrison.
According to the mayor’s office, Cure Violence will also put outreach workers in hospitals to be with families and friends when a young person is shot, to start the healing cycle and hopefully put a stop to potential retaliation.