WASHINGTON (ABC7) — Community members in the Benning Terrace neighborhood have noticed a decrease in shootings since January.
That’s when the group 'Violence Interrupters' began their work in the neighborhood.
The Alliance of Concerned Men is responsible for about 20 members on the streets of DC in Wards 7 and 8.
Together, they’ve built relationships with community members and pushed for non-violent solutions to disagreements.
According to the city’s latest crime statistics, there have been zero homicides in the Benning Terrace neighborhood since the group began their work.
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“These are individuals who are on the ground who are in touch with some of the individuals who may be thinking about doing something that’s illegal,” said Dr. Lewis T. Tait Jr.
Alliance Chief of Staff Clayton Rosenberg says the group still has a lot of work to do, but he has noticed a shift.
“The fact that we can say we went ‘X’ amount of days without a shooting, that’s a blessing,” said Rosenberg. “This is God’s work, a lot of folks would not do the things that we’re doing.”
Alliance members have been honoring Clarence Venable by adding his name to their jackets.
Venable was shot and killed after a meeting in November.
Rosenberg is hoping the program will be expanded to allow for at least ten more members on the streets.
“And that will be a good number, to where we can really do the work times what we are doing now,” Rosenberg said.
The city continues to monitor the violence interrupters program, to assess its effectiveness.
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