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HHSYC – Hip-Hop Against Gun & Gang Violence Project

hhsyc-mayorbloombergTo keep New York the safest big city in the country the HHSYC and their Hip-Hop Against Gun & Gang Violence Project completed their second annual campaign to curb gun and gang violence while also working with NYC Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly to improve relations between the Police and community residents.  To support the 109-day campaign, which started Memorial Day Weekend and ended Labor Day, Proclamations once again were presented to the HHSYC by Mayor Bloomberg, the NYC Council and Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano declaring May 24-27, 2013 as Hip-Hop Against Gun & Gang Violence Week in NYC and Nassau County.
The success of the campaign is measured in two parts: first by the number of deaths by firearm over the 96-hour Memorial Day Weekend period; second by the number of firearm deaths between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day.  According to statistics the proactive groundbreaking initiative that kicked off during Memorial Day Weekend (the unofficial start of summer when gun violence spikes) was an overwhelming success for the second consecutive year.  There were 10 murders by firearm in 2011 compared to 6 in 2012 (a 40% reduction from the launch of the 2012 campaign).  There were 3 in 2013 (a 50% reduction compared to 2012 and an amazing 70% reduction when compared to 2011).  In addition, between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day (the unofficial end of summer) there were 111 murders by firearm in 2011 compared to 93 in 2012 (a 16.2% reduction) and 66 in 2013 (a 29% reduction when compared to 2012).  When you compare 2011 to 2013 there was an unbelievable 40.5% reduction.
The numbers speak for themselves and leave no doubt that this tested, innovative approach to curb gun and gang violence during the most violent season of the year is a winner.  This collaborative approach shows that when the community and NYPD work as a team they can keep crime down which keeps the city safe.  Community policing is a very affective tool to help improve public safety by deterring and detecting crime, especially now that we no longer have Stop, Question & Frisk.
Some initiatives coordinated by the HHSYC with their partners to support the campaign included: the coordination of “Solution Summits,” which rewarded young citizens for telling us creative ways to curb gun and gang violence; promoting a series of gun buy back events with the NYC Council and NYPD; working with Nassau County Executive Edward Managno to launch the hot new “Shot Spotter” crime fighting technology that provides video footage of gun shootings making it easer to solve gun crimes; working with Geraldo Rivera, host of Geraldo At Large (on Fox News) to promote the exceptional work of a host of community parterres who were risking their lives to end gun violence; launch of the Community Ambassadors for Peace (CAP) initiative to detect and deter crime; working with Def Jam Records, Hot 97 radio, the Source Magazine, Dr. Jays, and the Daymond John Academy to offer perks, internships and jobs to those that signed up to be a part of the solution and not the problem; and by sponsoring “Rap 2 Bridge the Gap” sessions to improve relations between NYPD, students and the community.
Since the end of Stop, Question and Frisk gun violence has increased 13% and gun seizures have declined by 17%.  You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see where this is going.  In order to keep the community safe without Stop, Question and Frisk citizens and the private sector must step up to the plate and play a more proactive role to improve public safety and that is the message we are preaching citywide.  If you eliminate an affective policy, you must find a viable replacement to keep the criminals in check.
Stated Mayor Bloomberg “N.Y. is proud to be a national leader in the efforts to keep illegal guns out of the hands of dangerous people.  As a result of our commitment and hard work, crime in the five boroughs is down to historic lows, but of course, there is always more we can do to ensure the health and safety of all our residents.  Strong partnerships among the police, government, schools, and community-based organizations are key to sustaining the progress we have made, which is why we applaud the Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council for its efforts to build a better city.  Together, we can not only prevent violence, but also help young men, especially, access the opportunities they need to stay on the right track in school and beyond.”
In 1990 NYC experienced 2,245 homicides.  To reduce the violence 10,000 officers were hired peaking to 41,000 in 2001.  NYPD now has 34,000 officers, 7,000 fewer than 2001, but yet crime continues to decline.  This displays the tactical crime fighting experience of the Commissioner and his unique ability to help NYC remain the safest big city in the country with fewer resources.
“After the chaos caused by the crack epidemic of the 80’s and the terrorist attack on 9/11 there is nothing more important to the citizens and tourists that visit New York than public safety.   Crime and violence are bad for the economy and like him or not, Ray Kelly is doing an outstanding job.  I hope the next Mayor does not play Political Roulette with our safety.  You know how the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” and any experimental change could become a public relations nightmare for the party and administration in charge.  Especially with a new poll showing that 50% support Stop, Question & Frisk and want Ray Kelly to remain as Commissioner,” ended Charles Fisher, Founder, HHSYC.
“Through this initiative I get to talk to rookie officers and let them know that the community appreciates their dedication to the job.  This goes a long way towards improving community and police relations.  By working with Community Affairs officers, the Precinct Community Council, students, community groups and local businesses we can also keep crime down.  I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg, the NYC Council, and Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano for the Proclamations.  I also want to thank Commissioner Kelly for believing in our program and allowing us the opportunity to creatively work with the Department to help reduce crime the last several years during the hot summer months and improve relations between NYPD and the community,” stated Randy Fisher, Executive Director, HHSYC.

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.