Around the Miami Valley
6:00 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Dayton Neighborhood To Host Forum On Reducing Gun Violence

A forum in Dayton tonight will focus on gun violence in the city. It's the first of four events hosted by the Community Initiative to Reduce Gun Violence (CIRVG).  The group's work has already made a positive impact.  

Gun violence has actually declined in the last decade. Since the CIRGV program began in 2008, group-related gun violence dropped 86% in its first four years. 

But program director Sean Walton, says there are still disturbing trends taking place in Dayton neighborhoods, and there's more work to do. 

Credit Adam Hill
"So in Westwood and many different places, we're finding that young people are getting involved in gun violence younger.  That's a trend, and we're finding that they don't know enough about the consequences where they don't really understand the value of life," he said. The CIRGV program focuses on training and education among groups typically affected by gun violence – families, gangs, or less formal associations. Walton cites similar, successful programs in other cities, like Cincinnati, and Boston.

“Residents just need some extra direction at times," said the director. "They have the ideas, they have the energy, they know what they want, and part of our thing is reminding residents that they can do this.”

Thursday's event at the Westwood PreK-8 School will be followed by several weeks of neighborhood canvassing to increase awareness about gun violence.

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