(City of Akron) Akron, Ohio, September 9, 2021 — Today, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan released a Five Point Framework for Community Violence Reduction in Akron. The Framework is designed to communicate the City’s broad work in the area of violence reduction, identify key partners in these varied and ongoing efforts, and inspire further community conversation. Importantly, this Framework paves the way for the Mayor’s allotment of $20 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding toward youth and community violence prevention.
“The rising level of gun violence we have witnessed over the past year is tragic and unacceptable. Too many lives have been lost and too many families and communities left in grief and fear. As City leaders, reducing violent crime is our top priority. It will take a whole-of-Akron approach to truly make a difference and reduce gun violence, long-term," said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan. "We will work with the community to address the root causes of violence, including unmet mental health needs and underfunded recreational and mentoring resources. We will also work across the criminal justice system to identify gaps, target enforcement to known hot spots and dangerous offenders, and advocate for state and federal policy that supports a safer Akron.”
“Violence prevention is not a one-strategy-fits-all issue,” Mayor Horrigan continued. “It is an exceedingly complex problem that require diverse, coordinated, robust strategies that are people-centered and community driven. Parents, pastors, law enforcement officers, teachers, employers, elected officials, social service providers, coaches, judges, and community leaders—we all have a part to play. Akron is known for its strength at coordination and ability to rally around shared goals. Nothing is more important than breaking the cycle of loss, trauma, fear, and disinvestment that gun violence inflicts on our community. I hope this Framework helps us organize our collective work going forward. It is a living document, and I look forward to inspiring ongoing community conversation on ways to build on these strategies and approaches, as we begin to invest millions of federal dollars into effective violence prevention strategies across Akron.”
The 5 point Framework builds on the work of the Youth Violence Prevention Taskforce first convened in 2016 and will focus on these key pillars: Prevention, Intervention & Support, Enforcement, Partnership & Advocacy, and Community Accountability.
- Prevention: Stop violence before it starts by providing community members with stable neighborhoods, healthy recreational opportunities, and economic hope.
- Intervention & Support: Intervening in the lives of at risk individuals, reducing overall community violence.
- Enforcement: Police and Judicial partners are essential to keeping dangerous offenders out of our neighborhoods and cutting off networks of illegal guns, drugs, and violence.
- Partnership & Advocacy: Strong partnerships, effective legislation, and state and national policy around reducing violence will be necessary to have long lasting impacts on violence.
- Community Accountability: Empowering neighborhoods and stakeholders to take ownership of the problem and the solutions.