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Brooklyn DA’s Office, clergy announce partnerships to help reduce gun violence

May 26, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with Pastor Gilford T. Monrose, president of the 67th Precinct Clergy Council, also known as “The God Squad,” recently announced a new strategic partnership to help reduce gun violence in Brooklyn. 

Working together with community members, the NYPD and faith leaders, the DA’s Office and various clergy councils plan to provide support and guidance to at-risk youth and to offer assistance in several high-crime precincts to strengthen trust between communities and law enforcement as part of a holistic approach to reducing crime.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “We are proud to announce this vital partnership with our clergy councils to work together to help eradicate violence in our communities. Finding community-based solutions to violence must be a priority in our fight against gun violence. I believe our faith leaders have an important role to play and can help us turn these crime upticks around because they have the experience, credibility and the resources to support victims of crime and to reach vulnerable youth and set them on a better path.

Pastor Monrose said, “Clergy councils have long served as a liaison between law enforcement and the communities they serve. By building on this collective of clergy leaders, and growing on this collective of comprehensive, community plan to decrease young people’s involvement in crime and gun violence, while providing support to victims of violence, this partnership will embody a holistic, multi-pronged approach with the help of our very diverse Brooklyn clergy.”

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As part of the program, the 67th Precinct Clergy Council, located in East Flatbush, will provide strategic, supportive and technical assistance to neighboring clergy councils in the 69th Precinct (Canarsie), 70th Precinct (Flatbush), 71st Precinct (Crown Heights), 73rd Precinct (Brownsville), 75th Precinct (East New York), 77th Precinct (Crown Heights) 79th Precinct (Bedford-Stuyvesant), 81st Precinct (Bedford-Stuyvesant), 83rd Precinct (Bushwick) and 90th Precinct (Williamsburg). 

That extended program will introduce a strategic and valuable relationship with the DA’s Office that will aim to decrease gun violence and youth involvement in the justice system through street-level intervention, victim services, clergy care, social support services and the Flatbush Leadership Academy.

The DA’s Office will utilize the clergy councils in several ways, such as referring young participants in diversion programs with mentorship opportunities and other forms of support; flagging local disputes among our youth that can benefit from clergy intervention; offering internship and work opportunities to graduates of the Leadership Academy; prioritizing community-based programs as alternatives to incarceration and offering supportive assistance to victims.

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