What happens on the day before Halloween this year will play a big role in deciding whether or not Guilford County adopts a Cure Violence program – an initiative developed in Chicago meant to reduce shootings and other violent crime in certain designated areas of cities.
A potentially pivotal meeting to discuss Cure Violence has been set for Friday, Oct. 30, and it will bring together representatives of the City of Greensboro, Guilford County and Cure Violence. Supporters hope Greensboro and Guilford County will each contribute about $300,000 to establish the program In Greensboro, which is meant to reduce shootings such as the ones that have been all too common in Greensboro.
Guilford County Commissioner Skip Alston said he’s been pushing hard for the proposal. He said his discussions with fellow commissioners lead him to believe that the county will back the program, but he said that he’s heard that there are not yet enough votes on the Greensboro City Council to back it.
According to Alston, one of the major subjects of the Oct. 30 meeting will be finding the best way to establish a local office if the two sides do approve it. The county has discussed having the program fall under Guilford County’s health department – because that model has been successful in Durham County; however, Alston said, some commissioners don’t like that idea due to liability issues.
Alston said there have been over 30 shootings in Greensboro this year and said the vast majority of those victims are black.
“I hate to make it a race thing, but if the killers were in the white community, they would have taken action,” he said. “If someone has a better plan, let’s hear it. But we have to do something.”
Alston also said that, if approved, the county is likely to pay its part of the move with funds from the Sheriff’s Department’s Inmate Welfare Fund.
Commissioner Jeff Phillips said that at this point he is not confident the Guilford County commissioners will approve the move.