Mayor Walsh Statement on Council Vote to Pass Safer Streets Program

Published on August 14, 2023

Statement by Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh:

“For decades, Syracuse has been trying to reduce gun violence. We crack down on gangs and have dedicated police units to getting guns off the streets, but it hasn’t been enough. The Safer Streets Program, developed by the Mayor’s Office to Reduce Gun Violence as part of the City’s Community Violence Intervention Plan, seeks to address the violent dynamics that revolve around personal disputes and historic feuds between gangs in Syracuse, and gives our most vulnerable young people a way out of conflict.

With the Safer Streets Program, we’ve developed a strategy to resolve personal conflicts before violence occurs, using ‘credible messengers’ who know the kids and the streets, cognitive behavioral therapy to address the trauma, anger and impulsiveness of participants, mentoring, and workforce experience training incentives for participants engaged in skills building training.

This innovative program is the result of over a year of hard work by Deputy Mayor Sharon Owens, the Director of Mayor’s Office to Reduce Gun Violence Lateef Johnson-Kinsey and Bloomberg Harvard City Hall Fellow Pablo Uribe with countless hours of input from community organizations that are already doing the work to address violent crime in Syracuse. I thank the Common Council for its input on the program over the last several months, and for today, authorizing it so that we can begin this important work in our community.”


Read more about the plan here