It was with great relief that I read about Mayor Jim Gray’s reaction to the most recent violent shootings in Lexington. I agree that it’s time to stop these tragic acts of violence. My question is why has it taken so long?
A large group of very concerned citizens, via BUILD, made their fears and concerns known to Police Chief Mark Barnard about a year ago, and presented him with information and research about an effective policing program. The National Network for Safe Cities has developed multiple evidence-based programs that have helped cities reduce violent crimes and drug offenses. NNSC programs allow community leaders and law enforcement to intervene with at-risk individuals before they escalate to violence or major drug issues.
When Cincinnati implemented an NNSC program, it saw a 41-percent reduction in group-member involved homicides; Indianapolis, a 34-percent reduction in homicides, and Nashville, a 55-percent reduction in drug offenses. NNSC will work to tailor a program to meet a city’s needs. Barnard was asked by BUILD to contact NNSC for information but refused. Why?
So far in 2016, the Gun Violence Archive reports 76 shootings in Lexington, leaving 62 injured and 21 people dead.
Gail M. Swanson