City Council considering ‘rapid response program’ to help neighborhoods following shootings

City Council considering ‘rapid response program’ to help neighborhoods following shootings
Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 5:43 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Members of the Cincinnati City Council are considering a rapid response program to address gun violence after an 11-year-old boy was killed in a West End shooting earlier this month.

“This is about really changing the complexion and the dynamic of the community when these incidents occur,” councilmember Meeka Owens said. “When these incidents occur, what cannot happen is people thinking, ‘This happens in my community, and it is business as usual.’ That is something we cannot stand for.”

The Reduction of Gun Violence Rapid Response Pilot would give resources to victims and help residents in the aftermath of shootings. Owens said she and members Seth Walsh and Reggie Harris have put forward a motion to allocate $1 million in funds to the program.

The program would help victims and their families deal with the immediate and longterm affects of gun violence.

“What we do know is trauma exists in communities,” Owens said. “We got to do everything in our power to make sure we are not normalizing this in communities, but addressing the needs that are there.”

Owens said the program would be implemented across city agencies, starting in the West End. Resources would include a mix of mental health and social workers, who would go into communities following violence and work with residents. Help would be sent to neighborhoods within the first 24 hours of an incident.

There have been nearly 300 shootings in Cincinnati in 2023 through Nov. 3, the night of the West End shooting. Police are still searching for suspects in the case.

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