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Stop the Shootings

When NOLA FOR LIFE launched in 2012, the first priority was to stop the shootings. Some of the first NOLA FOR LIFE initiatives were CeaseFire Central City, which launched in April 2012, Group Violence Reduction Strategy which held the first Call-In in October 2012, and the Multi-Agency Gang (MAG) Unit which indicted its first gangs in early 2013. The Stop the Shootings pillar targets the most violent individuals in New Orleans, offering help to those who are ready to change their lives, but prosecuting those who continue to harm our community. Over 250 individuals have left a life of violence and turned their lives around. For those who haven’t, the MAG Unit has prosecuted 114 individuals from 12 violent gangs, with more in the pipeline.

Initiatives

David Kennedy – Director, National Network for Safe Communities

New Orleans’ Group Violence Reduction Strategy team, a core element of Mayor Landrieu’s NOLA FOR LIFE initiative and Stop the Shootings Pillar, has both saved lives in New Orleans and made a major national statement about what this work can mean and how to do it well. The strategy has brought together law enforcement and communities to focus on the groups in New Orleans at highest risk for violent victimization and offending, give them prior notice about the legal consequences of further violence, communicate the community’s intolerance for violence, and offer help to keep them alive and out of prison. It created the Multi-Agency Gang Unit, which has become a national model for rapid, effective investigation and prosecution of violent groups. On the social service side, the city has shown real innovation in meeting the very special needs of those most at risk for both offending and victimization. And there’s no question that the strategy is working: a recent study shows that GVRS has led to a 32% decrease in group member-involved homicides and a 17% drop in homicides overall.4 NOLA FOR LIFE, and the GVRS work in particular, are proof that there’s a way forward, even in a city as challenging as New Orleans, and I’m deeply proud to be a part of this effort.

Patrina Peters

I lost my son to gun violence in 2010. Damond was just weeks away from beginning college on a basketball scholarship. A couple of years after Damond’s murder, I got connected with Mayor Landrieu through the NOLA FOR LIFE strategy. And since that time, I have spoken to more than 300 young men at Group Violence Reduction Strategy call-ins to encourage them to stop the violence in their communities. I believe that it is going to take all of us to end the culture of violence in the city of New Orleans, and NOLA FOR LIFE has given me a voice so that I can do my part, because my son’s death will not be in vain.