City awarded violence prevention funding to aid organizations brokering peace

Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 6:56 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The City of Jackson receives hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding to help prevent violence in the community. One organization that works to keep peace in the city streets is hopeful the money will expand current efforts to solve conflicts before they escalate to violence.

“It will help us to get out and patrol more areas,” said Jason White.

The 45-year-old is a violence interrupter with Operation Good. The organization works in south Jackson and throughout the city to resolve conflicts and hold mediations with members of the community to stop situations from escalating. White is hopeful about the city’s new funding to assist organizations like his.

“Patrol not only this target area but other areas where crimes are being committed by our youth,” said White. “We can get out and talk to them and stop it and keep the police from being involved and have our youth going to jail for something that can be prevented.”

Jackson has been awarded $700,000.00 from the National League of Cities and the Wells Fargo Foundation to establish the Mayor’s Office of Violence Prevention and Trauma Recovery. It will distribute roughly $170,000.00 to groups like Operation Good that are already in existence.

“This office will give the city in collaboration with community organizations doing this work a head start in interrupting the cycle of gun violence that we see in our community,” said the Mayor’s Chief of Staff Dr. Safiya Omari.

Operation Good has six violence interrupters who meet with youth and their parents to keep disagreements from escalating. They also mentor youth in the community.

“With these 77 kids that we have, it’ll help us take care of them better. Things that they do” added White. “We have events for them and all types of things. We have back-to-school events for them and everything.”

No date has been released for the opening of the Office of Violence Prevention and Trauma Recovery.

Once established interested organizations must apply through an RFP process. It is also in the process of acquiring more funding through ARPA to assist with violence prevention efforts.

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