YORK, Pa. (WHTM) — Police in York are trying to curb a recent spike in gun violence through York’s Group Violence Intervention (GVI).
The partnership between law enforcement and the community started in 2016. The most recent campaign — Operation Call Out — comes near the end of the city’s deadliest year in over two decades.
Police say they are not discouraged, though. Group Violence Intervention focuses on groups of young people who are often the ones involved in violence and other criminal activity.
“I want to be able to help these young people because I see myself, I see my sons,” York City Police Commissioner Michael Muldrow said.
A big part of this is outreach, offering resources from basic food and clothing to job training, according to GVI project manager Tiff Lowe.
“We have given kids alarm clocks, we have put socks on their feet, whatever it is that they need,” Lowe said.
Police say it’s also about sending a message — violence has consequences.
“I love these young men here in this community, but if I have to stop you and lock you up to keep you alive, I’m also willing to push that button and do that, too,” Muldrow said.
In a week-long effort earlier in December, York Police worked with federal partners, arresting 16 people on firearms and drug charges. Six of those are tied to recent gun violence. Police also seized 12 guns, including two ghost guns.
Police say this is personal, and they are willing to do whatever it takes to make York safer.
“These are my babies, so I can’t just turn my head and act like I don’t see it, it’s hurting me,” said Tiff Lowe, Group Violence Intervention project manager.
Muldrow says the issue of gun violence is complicated, and it will take time and input from the community to see major results.