Influx of Columbus homicides, crime prevention program looks to get boots on ground

Local News

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) —  In light of the recent gun violence in Columbus, Cure Violence, a community-based crime prevention program is working to find solutions. Today, they held a meeting with the purpose of having candid conversations with members of the public. 

Cure Violence is a community-based, data-driven violence prevention program that addresses violence as a public health epidemic. On Tuesday, they held a meeting at Frank Chester Recreation Center where they discussed Columbus’ influx of shootings and homicides. 

Healthcare workers, faith leaders and mental health professionals were in attendance —  as well as members of the public who have been directly impacted by violent crime. 

For many attendees, discussing crime hit close to home. One healthcare worker spoke about her firsthand experience working with gunshot victims in the trauma unit. A mother spoke about losing her child to gun violence. Cedric Hill, a founding member of the Cure Violence Columbus Initiative, says it’s time for change. 

“The most important thing to us at this point is the community itself,” Hill said. “Some of the misnomers is ‘People are going to come in from the outside and take funding from us.’ None of that is accurate. All of the people that will be part of this process are in this community. And the people that will be employed will be people in this community. What’s going to come from the outside is just the structure of the model.”

Cure Violence’s model is three steps: Detecting and interrupting conflict, identifying and treating the highest risk individuals and changing social norms. The Cure Violence Columbus Initiative is looking to get endorsement from Cure Violence Global — and work to get boots on the ground in the Fountain City. 

The next Cure Violence meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at the Michael Fluellen Recreation Center in Carver Heights.

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