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Street Violence

Street violence must be stopped-No shit! Thanks for stating the obvious Quintin. I could sit here and ramble about how sad it is to see young minorities kill each other, or, about how its affecting our community, but if I cant give you a suggestion, not even a small idea of how to alleviate the situation, I might as well put my pen down, and shut the fuck up. The main question is how, how do you detain street violence? I definitely don't have the exact answer to that question ( honestly, no one does), but, I do have a small suggestion.

Let me take you on a virtual walk to east Baltimore (McElderly Park to be exact)- where ex- convicts are making a tremendous impact on their crime ridden community. I first read their story in the Febuary 11th edition of The Baltimore Sun. "Operation Safe Streets" is a government funded program that allows ex-offenders the chance to clean up the same streets they used to run. These men walk the streets, patrolling the neighborhood-in addition-they mediate conflicts and mentor young adults by creating educational programs, and organizing movie screenings and basketball games.

Street credibility and trust are two factors important in maintaining positive results. "Operation Safe Streets use two unique approaches in order to remain credible. Whenever a shooting occurs, OSS retaliates by marching, rallying, holding vigils, and organizing barbecues. OSS refuses to co-operate with police, if they do, they believe that the same young men seeking their guidance will feel a sense of mistrust and displacement.

"Operation Safe Streets" is an example of my theory that stopping street violence is only effective if attempted by the same people being effected by it. Police officers can snatch all the drugs and guns, they can do all the racial profiling; but, their efforts will only add fuel to the fire. To prevent the next murderer or drug dealer, he or she must be counseled by someone who looks like them, talk like them, and has walked down the same path that they are about to follow.


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