The initiative aims to stop violence before it starts and to help the city and the police for better relationships.
TOLEDO, Ohio – Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz announced Wednesday the hiring of a program manager who will be responsible for working with residents, community partners and law enforcement agencies to develop the city’s gun violence reduction strategy.
The mayor introduced JoJuan Armor, a Toledo-born student who is currently a student of wellness and families at the Columbus Arts and Technology Academy.
Armor, a former professional athlete, was previously Quality Assurance Program Manager at UMADAOP (Urban Minority Alcohol and Drug Abuse Outreach Program).
“JoJuan brings an experience which we hope, together with the other resources already used and combined with new partnerships we are forming in the community, will deter violence in Toledo,” said Kapszukiewicz. “As we said last year, this initiative aims to reduce gun violence by addressing it as a public health crisis. We will never eradicate or even dent gun violence unless we focus on root causes and social determinants. “
Chief of Staff Katy Crosby said the city continues to use data to tailor the program to people and high-risk neighborhoods. She stressed that it is important to note that this does not replace the role of law enforcement.
“We hope this will reduce the need for law enforcement agencies to act because of less violence in high-risk communities,” said Crosby. “The goal of the initiative is to stop violence before it starts and to help the city and the police for better relationships.”
Armor is focused on working with the community and law enforcement agencies to build a successful program that includes developing relationships with local residents to prevent violence, creating a social services support network to address the needs of high risk individuals , and working with the neighborhood department covers issues that increase the likelihood of violence.
“With the technical assistance of Cure Violence, he will build a program while trying to prevent violence,” said Crosby. “The program includes connecting people at risk with mentoring, employment, health care and other support services. Employment is a deterrent to violence. We know this is a major obstacle because we also know that many human resources policies prevent people with criminal backgrounds from finding employment. “
Toledo Police Chief George Kral said police will be actively involved in the new effort.
“This is a joint effort to address an issue that many cities are grappling with,” said Kral.
“It is an absolute honor to be part of an initiative to reduce gun violence in the city I come from, in communities where my family, friends and their children live,” said Armor. “By trying to cover every aspect of the community and the people in it, we can develop a broader approach to combating gun violence.”
The new program is partially financed by general fund monies and grants. It will focus on specific neighborhoods including Junction, Garfield Starr, and Lagrange Corridor.
Armor’s salary is $ 71,764. His first day is Tuesday, February 23rd.
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