May 6, 2021 By Allie Griffin
The city is spending a combined $1.1 million on two community-based groups in eastern Queens to combat a rise in gun violence, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday.
Two existing community groups, King of Kings and 100 Suits for 100 Men, will split the $1.1 million to help address gun violence in the 105th Precinct which covers Laurelton, Rosedale, Queens Village and Springfield Gardens. The two groups aim to be fully staffed to cover the area by the end of June.
The groups will become part of the city’s “Crisis Management System,” a system that consists of a network of nonprofits that mediate conflicts in local neighborhoods before they turn violent.
The nonprofits try to identify individuals who are at risk of being involved in gun violence—and then try to find them employment, job training services and legal support to steer them away from a violent future.
With the addition of the 105th Precinct, the Crisis Management System now covers 22 of the NYPD’s 77 precincts.
“On behalf of 100SUITS we look forwards to creating a safe space for youth in the community surrounded by love and continued support,” said Kevin Livingston, Founder and President of 100 Suits for 100 Men.
De Blasio recently signed City Council legislation to triple the overall size of the Crisis Management System workforce by Summer 2022 as part of his Safe Summer NYC plan.
“Safe Summer NYC is about making sure every New Yorker is safe and feels safe in their neighborhood,” de Blasio said. “Expanding the Crisis Management System will do exactly that, bringing people together at the grassroots to fight gun violence and bring our city back.”
The $1.1 million investment comes amid an ongoing spike in gun violence across the city and in the 105th Precinct. Shooting incidents citywide are up more than 50 percent compared to the same time last year, with the 105th Precinct seeing double the number of incidents year-to-date, from two in 2020 to four in 2021.
Recently-elected Council Member Selvena Brooks-Powers welcomed the expansion of the program.
“Expanding the Crisis Management System into my district is a necessary investment as we seek ways to combat the surge in gun violence with an increase in access and reach to much needed social services,” she said.
The investment follows a similar effort in Queens’ 114th Precinct, announced by de Blasio in March. That effort, called the Advance Peace Model, will launch in the 114th precinct that covers Astoria, sections of Long Island City and Woodside in July.
The model seeks out at-risk youth and pairs them with individual mentors who will counsel them and help them achieve higher goals, such as obtaining a GED or a driver’s license.