Youngstown violence interruption program begins Friday

Youngstown violence interruption program begins Friday

Youngstown violence interruption program begins Friday


The Youngstown Police Department summer Violence Interruption Patrols will begin Friday with a stronger law-enforcement presence than in any past year for the program.

The patrols are an annual effort by Youngstown police, collaborating with various other police departments, prosecutors’ offices and the faith-based community, to intercept violent crime with increased patrols and other tactics in high-crime areas of the city.

The VIP program has been in effect annually since 2003, with changes made to its operation almost annually. The program runs through Labor Day weekend.

Chief Rod Foley said the police department will be collaborating with 13 law enforcement entities as well as the faith-based community in carrying out the program this year. The chief said about $50,000 is available for the program, but the majority is accomplished through rescheduling officers to accomplish the task.

Foley said the goal of the program is to provide an enhanced police presence in the community, reduce violent crime, enhance prosecution efforts on violent offenders and get illegal guns off the street.

“We have been trending down with gun use, but we still have our challenges,” said Foley.

“We are trying to change behaviors and make people realize carrying guns is not the appropriate way to go.”

The program, Foley said, is largely about police presence in the community but will include other crime-fighting and intervention strategies. He said gang and drug activity will be investigated, and other preventive measures are planned.

“We will have a variety of different tactics in place, but I want to make sure there is definitely a big police presence,” he said.

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