ST. LOUIS — The Board of Aldermen approved funding for ‘Cure Violence’ St. Louis Friday morning.
The bill allocates $5 million in funding over three years to fund the public safety program.
Cure Violence is an 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.
According to a press release, Cure Violence is proven to reduce shootings and killings dramatically in just one year: New York - 63% reduction in shootings (2017); Philadelphia - 30% reduction in shootings (2017); Baltimore - 56% reductions in killings and 44% in shootings (2012); New Orleans 47% reduction in shootings, 85% reduction in retaliations (2017). A growing number of Cure Violence sites are going one to two years without a shooting or killing, cities such as Yonkers, New York that went more than two years without a shooting and the 39th neighborhood in Philadelphia that went 16 months without a murder.
Earlier this week, 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.