Toledo leaders announce gun violence reduction program

Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 4:03 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The city of Toledo has new members of its Save Our Community program on the streets in the Lagrange neighborhood.

They’re trying to curb a violent two years in the city where we’ve seen record homicide numbers. Those numbers are moving in the right direction this year and more help is on the way.

You might remember this team as the violence interrupters. They’ve changed the name and some of the mission but it’s still about preventing violence

Neiko McIntyre, 16, lost his life to gun violence on Orville street in Toledo back in April. His father, Christopher McIntyre, wants to make sure no other families feel that pain.

“I’m still trying to get through the grieving process with my son and do this but it’s working pretty good,” said Christopher McIntyre.

Christopher McIntyre is now a city of Toledo interrupter. He and two other Toledoans are now part of Toledo’s program save our community.

“At the end of the day I thought something that wasn’t true as far as the streets and everything and I’ve done better with my business in doing the right thing and being an upstanding citizen than the wrong thing and I want them to know the wrong way isn’t the right way,” said Christopher McIntyre.

“I’m going to come out here and do everything I can to provide whatever they need. And be a model and show them how to be a model so they can have healthy outcomes and healthy growth,” said Save Our Community interrupter Elizabeth Harris.

They’re not called “violence” interrupters anymore because their mission has expanded to helping them find jobs, connect people with housing or helping address a yard with high grass.

“A lot of people ask me do I wear a bullet proof vest or do I have a gun. I don’t need any of that. I’m just going into the community knowing that I’m having a positive impact. That’s all I need,” said Issac Miles, a Save Our Community interrupter.

Miles in the only original interrupter still left from last year’s program kickoff. He calls the work rewarding and even highlights helping a 33-year-old land his first full time job.

“There’s not a more rewarding job in the world than knowing you just changed somebody’s life. It’s very impactful,” said Miles.

As this program takes off, already they’ve hired a new person for the next neighborhood to focus on. The first one was the Junction neighborhood, now it’s Lagrange and next is East Toledo.

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