COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – The Columbus Police Department and Muscogee County’s Sheriffs Office are working with Violence heal Columbusto detect and stop the transmission of violence.
Reggie Lewis and Cedric Hill are the founders of the organization. Lewis and Hill founded the organization in 2016. The two of them noticed the amount of violent crime that was going on in their community and wanted to do something to stop it.
When it comes to tackling community violence, Cure Violence has four main actions: detecting and stopping the transmission of violence, changing the behavior of those at greatest risk, changing community norms against violence, and the hospital’s response to prevent retaliation and for tracking.
These four key components enable trained, well-known people from certain parts of the community to reach those affected by crime. You will also be able to identify those who are at high risk of joining gangs, taking drugs, getting shot, or going to jail. In this context, the program aims to ensure that cohesion is strengthened. The last two components focus on training stakeholders and getting the right data to apply different solutions for each community. Lewis believes this is not a one-size-fits-all approach.
“We take the numbers, find out what kind of violent events are occurring, and then apply the appropriate solution to those events. So something that happens on the south end may be a different process than what we use on the east end, ”said Lewis.
The program looks for credible and accountable people from these communities who can help.
Lewis believes environmental, mental, and physical health play a role in violence. Violence in Columbus occurs in impoverished, poorly educated and less economically developed areas. This leads to a higher risk of health problems in these communities due to the trauma that individuals in that community are experiencing.
“We have seen how it can help reduce violence because we take a different approach than just a criminal justice system approach. We see it out of a health problem, an epidemic, and then we apply health solutions to fight the epidemic of violence, ”said Lewis.
The analysis for the program will take at least a month. Lewis and Hill would like the analysis to begin in March or April. Part of the analysis will include multiple meetings with partners, donors and interrupters of Cure Violence. After the meetings and analysis, Lewis and Hill are given a list of the areas that are at high risk and need the most attention.
“We didn’t come here overnight, so we won’t get out of here overnight,” said Hill.
Lewis and Hill both believe the community will change for the better over the next six months with the help of the Columbus Police Department, the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office, Cure Violence, and most importantly, with the help of parishioners. Lewis is from the Columbus community and says he knows where that community used to be and where it is now is completely different.
“Everyone is sick and tired, we are fed up with it. I have worked with law enforcement for 31 years, been in and out of law enforcement for 10 years, and been around for 20 years. I know where this community has been and where it is today … so I know it can be changed, ”said Lewis