JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The city of Jacksonville is taking the next step to reduce violent crime in the community with the launch of the first phase of the Cure Violence program, which aims at reducing crime in at-risk communities.
The program has been used in several major cities, including Chicago and Philadelphia. It treats violence as if it’s contagious and works with the community to keep it from spreading.
Now, it will officially launch in two different zones that have been identified as hot spots for violent crimes in Jacksonville.
Zone 1, which includes Downtown, Springfield and the Eastside, and Zone 5 including Northwest Jacksonville, New Town and Baldwin.
The program sends highly trained ex-cons, known as "violence interrupters" into these "hot spot" zones to identify those at risk for being involved in violent crime.
Earlier this week, violence interrupters hit the streets in Jacksonville to learn more about the issues facing the cities at-risk communities.
Many city leaders said they are hopeful the program will make a difference.
The program will officially launch Saturday at the Northwest Jacksonville Community Development Corporation Office.