Mayor, state attorney stand behind 'Cure Violence' program

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Mayor Lenny Curry said he wants to move forward with plans to bring the "Cure Violence" program to Jacksonville.

Throughout the week, Cure Violence held workshops that were open to the community. The program uses ex-cons to identify potential shooting perpetrators and victims and guides them in another direction.

"I like what I've heard. I like their history," Curry said. "Inside of 30 days, they're going to have some sort of proposal back to the city."

State Attorney Melissa Nelson also stands behind the program and believes it can benefit the city.

"The concept of interrupting violence and trying to quell violence by people who have credibility in the streets just makes common sense," Nelson said. "I'm very encouraged by this week."

Leaders with Cure Violence held their final public meeting in Jacksonville Thursday night. Lorenzo Hamilton said he attended because he's concerned at the amount of crime in the city.

"Some of the things just aren't working right now," Hamilton said. "Anything to keep the guns out of the kids hands is a good thing."

Marcus McAllister is part of Cure Violence. He said teams all across the country are working to end violence by treating it like a public health problem.

"We hire and train credible individuals," McAllister said. "(They) are able to intervene when conflicts may erupt and be able to mediate those situations."

Cure Violence will come at a cost to the city. Curry said those numbers will come in the proposal, but he's confident the budget will allow for it.

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