• Despite violent week, city of Jacksonville urges patience with Cure Violence program

    By: Russell Colburn , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Action News Jax Investigates how a new anti-violence program -- funded by taxpayers -- is working.

    Jacksonville has had a violent week.  At least seven people were killed in nearly a dozen shootings.

    The most recent shooting occurred Monday night on Beaverbrook Place, according to JSO.

    Monday, the city of Jacksonville emphasized this program just started and needs time.

    “It’s just a vicious circle going around and around,” said neighbor Doris Armstrong.  “It’s just getting worse and worse and worse.”

    Armstrong lives on the Northside, one of the areas of emphasis for Cure Violence.

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    They treat violence as a health crisis and send peacekeepers into the community to try to make a difference.

    They started in June, and said through the end of that month, they’d met with 75 at-risk people and hundreds of others.

    The city said so far, Cure Violence has spent $177,000 of its $764,000 taxpayer-funded budget on staff, operations and community resources.

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    Cure Violence said someone voluntarily surrendered a gun last week.  Now, they’re hoping for more.

    Action News Jax also spoke with a trauma surgeon at UF Health Monday since they see the impacts of gun violence every day.

    “Watching kids get shot is always hard,” said Dr. Marie Crandall.

    Dr. Crandall said crisis interventions are held when doctors lose patients, but she admits nothing truly prepares them for some of what they see.

    “Whenever we lose people due to violence, it’s a deep and senseless tragedy,” Dr. Crandall said. “I also think it’s a symptom of poverty and deprivation and segregation institutionalized racism, structural violence.”

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