ST. LOUIS — The international organization, Cure Violence, is one step closer to coming to St. Louis. Thursday, the Board of Estimate and Apportionment approved $5 million in funding for the program.
The bill now moves to the full Board of Aldermen for a vote on Friday.
Cure Violence is an international organization that treats violence like a disease with a three-pronged strategy: find and interrupt conflicts, find and treat high-risk people and change social norms in violent communities.
5 On Your Side asked St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief John Hayden what he thinks of the program.
“I'm optimistic if St. Louis will have Cure Violence in certain neighborhoods,” said St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief John Hayden. “I'm hoping that will work.”
Hayden said he is cautious, though. He worries not every neighborhood will get the attention it needs.
“We have several neighborhoods in our city that are very violent,” Hayden said. “You would hate to implement it and not see the results people want to see.”
Cure Violence works with community leaders, residents, business owners and clergy to spread the message that violence is unacceptable. Hayden said that if the program works and there is less violence, people need alternatives and support.
“If the gun is up because I'm having a feud or the gun is up because I'm supplementing my income for food, then you're going to have some other wrap-around services that aren't part of the program,” Hayden said.
He hopes there will also be funding for the program that has worked in the city for a long time, like Better Family Life and the Urban League.