Walker was a founding member of Crown Heights based anti-violence group Save Our Streets (SOS),which was part of the City’s Gun Violence Crisis Management System (CMS) created in 2014. CMS built and expanded on the Cure Violence model, which aims to identify and engage those most likely to be involved in gun violence by deploying violence interrupters, people whose jobs are to prevent violence before it occurs.
“Words are inadequate when discussing the loss of a loved one– particularly one taken by the kind of violence he worked hard to prevent,” said Council Member Williams who is co-chair of the Council’s Taskforce to Combat Gun Violence. “I am eternally grateful for the work Lavon, and others like him, do every day on the front lines in this war against gun violence. These committed community members put their lives on the line daily to tackle this problem front and center.”
According to a study by the Center for Court Innovation, there is a “significant reduction” in shootings where SOS operates in Crown Heights– 20 percent lower than what it would have been had gun violence trends mirrored those of similar, adjacent precincts.
“Save Our Streets is doing phenomenal work keep our communities safe and free from gun violence, and it is a tribute to Mr. Walker’s legacy that we are able to celebrate a year without any shooting incidents in SOS’s Morrisania catchment area,” said Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson. “But the celebration is bittersweet in the wake of his tragic and untimely death. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and colleagues. May he rest in the peace he so tirelessly pursued in life.”
Williams said the successful impact of S.O.S. and other violence interruptors reaffirms the need for continued funding support: “The City must begin taking additional steps to show its appreciation for the work these men and women do in effort to combat gun violence, in the areas most prone to it,” he said.
“They should feel like valued partners in this fight against senseless violence.”
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