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Columbus set to partner with Urban League for Neighborhood Violence Intervention Initiative

Columbus Urban League Building
Columbus Urban League
Columbus Urban League

Columbus City Council is scheduled to vote Monday a measure meant to help reduce crime and respond to gang-related violence.

The city is partnering with the Columbus Urban League on the Neighborhood Violence Intervention Initiative. The Urban League plans to put what they call gang violence intervention specialists in South and East Columbus neighborhoods where 14 to 24-year-olds stand the highest risk of gang involvement.

The specialists will serve as mentors and role models by encouraging kids and young adults to get job training, focus on academics and take part in recreational activities.

The ordinance allows the Columbus Department of Public Safety to enter into a $329,500 with the Urban League in order to provide violence interruption and crisis response activities that include "responding to specific violent confrontations, working to mediate and diffuse conflict tensions, and actively promoting peace building among our youth."

The contractors will maintain a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week schedule to respond to calls regarding youth violence confrontations such as shootings, aggravated assaults, homicides and other violent incidents.

Steve Brown grew up in nearby Richwood, Ohio and now lives there with his wife and sons. He started his journalism career as a weekend board operator at WOSU while majoring in journalism at Ohio State, where he also wrote for the student newspaper The Lantern and co-founded the organization Students for Public Broadcasting.