Toledo’s violence interrupters hit the streets next week
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Toledo is preparing to roll out its newest method to curb gun violence in the city.
They’re called violence interrupters and they’ll be hitting the streets next week.
These folks will not be part of the police department, in fact they will not be working with them. They’ll be doing their own work and hopefully having some impactful results. They’ll be on the streets trying to head off issues before they turn into gun violence.
“Come Tuesday, I’m hitting the streets so hard and letting everybody know what we’ve got going on,” said violence interrupter Isaac Miles.
Miles and his three fellow interrupters will target people they feel could turn to gun violence.
“What we’re here for is to turn high-risk individuals into no-risk individuals,” said violence interrupter Gerald Carter.
“This is the first initiative I’ve ever been a part of that actually takes people from the community and puts them back into the community to help the community,” said violence interrupter LaMishyia Hudson.
Hudson has worked in social services before. She’s hopeful this personal approach will resonate.
“Understanding that a person’s past does not at all predict who they become. They can grow to be anything,” said Hudson.
The group initiating this program is called Cure Violence, a Chicago based group which tries to combat the violence by putting people on the streets who have experience in these same streets.
“We infect people with the positive behavior, with the positive attitude, with the mindset change. Individuals from our community, our peers, they look to individuals like us that have been there done that been down that road,” said Jarmarn Merritt of Cure Violence.
“With my history in the streets, I have connections on the streets to where I can talk to the bigger guys on the streets who have powerful roles. And let them know we are all here to stop the violence,” said Miles.
Their first target area will be around Monroe, Collingwood, Belmont and Hoag Street. The city’s plan is to add more of them to different parts of the city in the coming years.
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