Tallahassee unanimously passes gun violence intervention plan

Tallahassee City Commission unanimously passes gun violence intervention plan.
Tallahassee City Commission unanimously passes gun violence intervention plan.(WCTV)
Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 6:20 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Tallahassee City Commission made a major investment in funding for several community programs with a focus on reducing gun violence and supporting at risk communities.

Wednesday the city commission voted unanimously to pass their gun violence intervention plan.

The city and Leon County will be working with consultants, reaching out to individuals and community groups that will be implementing aspects of this plan for input on where resources need to go to tackle this issue.

“If we do it right, which I’m assuming that we will, as other communities have seen, we will see a drastic reduction in violent crime in our community,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Curtis Richardson. “Our community will be safe, our citizens, our residents, those that visit our community will feel safe wherever they are.”

The city of Tallahassee has seen 92 shootings reported as of last Saturday. With the help of law enforcement, and academic experts the city has heard reports on the contributing problems to gun violence.

Mayor John Dailey said while this was a major first step in the fight against gun violence, there’s still much work to be done to tackle a “holistic approach to the issue.”

“We concentrate heavily on prevention, intervention in the moment but also restoration on the backend,” Dailey said. “That’s why you saw the city commission not only invest in GVI, but restorative justice on the back end and crime stoppers in the moment.”

Dailey said that also includes investing in resources to deal with the healing process associated with victims and families impacted by these crimes.

“We run a program called community connections, and we run a restorative justice program also in the schools,” Dailey said. “We need to teach the youth of today how to settle their conflicts in a non-violent manner. In fact we need to teach society how to solve their conflicts in a non violent manner.”

The city’s three-pronged approach focuses on prevention, intervention and restoration. The city will fund $200 thousand towards restorative justice programs, $100 thousand to the Big Bend Crime Stoppers organization and $500 thousand toward a new Community Human Service Partnership (CHSP) category targeting gun violence.

Dailey said GVI provides a road map to move the city forward and engage all stakeholders possible.

Richardson said addressing gun violence and the safety of the community improves all aspects of life in the city.

“Regardless of what it is, our economic sector, our neighborhoods, our colleges and universities parents decide where they are going to send their child to school based on the research they’ve done on how safe that community is,” Richardson said. “It will certainly have an impact on our colleges and communities when it comes to their recruitment.”

Richardson said the benefits those improvements also stretch to tourism in the city and can be a pull-factor enticing visitors to come to Tallahassee and Leon County. On top of saving lives.

“The leadership of the city is serious about this issue and we’re looking forward to working with citizens throughout this community in addressing this very serious problem,” Richardson said.

The city also passed funding for $5 five million over the next five years to reduce gun violence and Dailey said that was to make sure their efforts are sustainable year-in and year-out.

“The future is bright for Tallahassee but make no mistake about it, we have major hurdles and challenges that we have to tackle as a community,” Dailey said.