The Chicago organization, Cure Violence sat before a group of community leaders Tuesday night at Challenger Learning Center to promote its community based model addressing gun violence.
Cure Violence National Director, Frank Perez and Executive Director of U.S. Programs, Lori Toscano, held a forum to discuss how their program can be implemented throughout Tallahassee.
Edward Clark, a council member and Florida A&M University Institute of Public Health researcher, compared violence to diseases.
“Violence has characteristics similar if not identical to diseases in the sense that they cluster and areas of violence have clusters in which it spreads from one individual to another,” Clark said.
Cure Violence endeavors to work on the preventative end, Clark said. Cure violence appoints people in the community to help those who are victims of violence or committing violent crimes to change their ways.
Frank Perez, national director for Cure Violence, said Tallahassee is not different from any city they have visited in this country or any part of the world.
“Violence is all related weather it’s in Philadelphia or Chicago it’s all behind behavior motivated or people lashing out because of perceived disrespect or actual disrespect,” Perez said.
Cure Violence is seeking to end violence as well as create jobs for people. Jobs will be given to people who live within the communities with violence. People with these jobs will be out in the community just like any other health worker, Perez added.
Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo has looked for different programs that can benefit the Tallahassee community.
“Crime rates are still going up, this program is focused on a health prevention model,” DeLeo said. “This is a potential program to implement in Tallahassee to deal with violence, it isn’t set in stone, we still have a long way to go.”
This forum was targeted toward South City residents, neighborhood associations and interested members of the public. The next forum would be aimed toward the city and county commissions, local government and any other interested members of the public.