Virginia Shocker: Crime to Get Public Health Response, Not Police

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The Mayor of Richmond rejected a plan to reduce violence by focusing on gangs. IMG NRA-ILA

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- The Mayor of Richmond rejected a plan to reduce violence by focusing on gangs, instead prioritizing a costly “public health” approach that conflicts with the reality on the ground.

Pastor Ralph Hodge and an organization called “Richmonders Involved to Strengthen Communities” (RISC) asked Mayor Levar Stoney to fund a focused deterrence program that aims to defuse conflict and intervene before violence occurs. Gangs, even loosely organized gangs, and their members are often known to community leaders and law enforcement. When violence occurs, the local community often knows the likely perpetrators as well as those most likely to retaliate and can intervene to put an end to the cycle of violence.

The Mayor’s Office rejected RISC’s program because the Mayor’s office disagrees with “their advocacy for a law-enforcement based approach to gun violence prevention.” This comes after Mayor Stoney signed a letter requesting federal funds be used for “evidence-informed programs that intentionally work with the people at the highest risk of involvement in gun violence.” That letter, readers will note, can be found on Everytown’s website.

There are two issues with this statement. First is the concept that law enforcement is an inappropriate “approach” to crime. Published research has found that hiring additional police officers reduces crime, and real-world statistics from across the country – including Chicago and New Orleans – show that targeted policing works. Even The Trace, Bloomberg’s anti-gun “news” outfit, has examined the success of these programs.

But the pastors are not emphasizing police efforts; they’d like to implement interventions, not “over-policing.” Pastor Hodge said, “You need police in any kind of crime situation, but this is not about funding more police activity. This is about funding more community organizations, local groups, social services, to provide intervention.”

Focused deterrence programs like this have worked in all manner of American cities. Many of the most anti-gun cities – including Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, New York City, and Philadelphia, have benefitted from focused deterrence programs – which both suggests criminals don’t follow the law and that gun control doesn’t work.

Mayor Stoney has instead green lit a “community-focused” program that uses a “human services and public health approach” to target middle school students. The program costs half a million dollars.

Pastor Hodge’s program would cost around a tenth of that and would actually focus on those most likely to be either perpetrators or victim of violence. Hodge noted, “When you look at the ages of the shooters, most of the victims, they’re not in middle school and high school. They’re above age, they’re adults.”

The Mayor is spending more money targeting the wrong population despite being presented with a more cost-effective and proven method of curbing violence among those most likely to suffer or perpetuate the harm.

Perhaps the difference is that Pastor Hodge’s plan does not claim to be a “public health” approach since buzz words seem to be all that matter to the anti-gun crowd.

Stoney’s chosen program will offer mentorship and a stipend to forty (40) middle schoolers.

With a program limited to 40 kids and an acknowledged violent crime problem, can Richmond really afford to reject any program targeting those likely to engage in violence?

Forty kids will be involved with or benefit from Stoney’s chosen program. Known gang members and potential criminals, the adults totally excluded from the Mayor’s chosen plan, will be unaffected and will be likely left to perpetrate harm without intervention.

Unless they cross paths with Pastor Hodge. Then, maybe there is a chance for intervention – though Hodge’s path is much less expansive than it could be with support from the Mayor.

If not, law enforcement will respond to the crime and do what it can to put the perpetrators behind bars.

If only there was a better way – a way to break the cycle of violence.

But maybe mentoring a handful of middle schoolers will have an effect, too.

Just not on the adults actually perpetrating the violence in Richmond.


About NRA-ILA:

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess, and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit: www.nra.org

National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

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Mikial
Mikial
6 days ago

Another example of a politician disregarding the best approach in favor of one that fits their personal agenda and is visible even if it is not effective. DARE is a perfect example of this. Research into the DARE program indicates that it has very little if any effect on reducing drug use by kids. But DARE is relatively cheap to run and very visible in the community. I was a Juvenile Probation Officer for many years and can say from experience that programs like DARE and Mayor Stoney’s approach are a waste of time and money and only result in… Read more »

GomeznSA
GomeznSA
24 days ago

Since my first college degree was a BA in Psychology, I likely will never need to call for assistance for a psych related issue………………..
If I have an emergency where I need ‘official’ assistance you can bet that it will be for either a person with a gun/badge or someone with a fire hose and/or a major trauma kit. Period.

Cruiser
Cruiser
24 days ago

“fund a focused deterrence program that aims to defuse conflict and intervene before violence occurs. Gangs”
How about doing the right thing for your community , volutarilly?(no pay)

Tank
Tank
24 days ago

Has anybody seen one progressive – liberal – UN agenda plan succeed ?

Name just one ?

swmft
swmft
25 days ago

so non of you read this, thery are giving money to the school kids so the gang members can take it! or so they can buy guns on the street. totally stupid

Last edited 25 days ago by swmft
JimmyS
JimmyS
25 days ago

Lies, lies, lies, obfuscation, gaslighting, and a good old case of, “Problem, Reaction, Solution.”

Government always puts itself and its administrators and enforcers forward as the solution to every “problem,” all while hiding their direct involvement in the creation and perpetuation of that “problem.”

And it is important to remember that long before there were cops in America, there was violent crime that was remedied by the victims and other interested parties, as common law dictates.

Hazcat
Hazcat
25 days ago

Why is anyone surprised? The general populace has demonstrated that it will put up with any amount of infringement of their rights for ‘health and safety’. The Left is simply using a tool that has proven to be VERY effective to continue their tyranny. I have been saying that this was coming for the last two years. Get used to it cause it ain’t gonna change.

Russn8r
Russn8r
25 days ago

Time the vampire-grifter “Winning Team” junta that took over in ’97 fess up to how they pissed away NRA’s once-red HQ state & put NRA into a smoking-hole nose dive: 1) Grifted $15-20B in member cash that could’ve saved VA & the USA. 2) Cozied up to “Libertarians” like Norquist & Lott and did nothing about THE fatal indirect threat to 2A of over-immigration. Police Defunding must hurt after 100s of OUR millions NRA & pet LEAA spent sucking up to Gvt-Union Cops: 1) Police Carry 1st, i.e. Civilian Last-Never (wink-wink) 2) Back The Blue Whatever They Do Or Don’t… Read more »

Last edited 25 days ago by Russn8r
Knute Knute
Knute Knute
25 days ago

“buzz words seem to be all that matter to the anti-gun crowd.” That might be the way it seems, but the reality is a bit different, and a lot more malevolent. Quote: “The quality of education given to the lower class must be of the poorest sort, so that the moat of ignorance isolating the inferior class from the superior class is and remains incomprehensible to the inferior class. With such an initial handicap, even bright lower class individuals have little if any hope of extricating themselves from their assigned lot in life. This form of slavery is essential to… Read more »