Winston-Salem Uses Right Approach To Reduce Crime

JANIFEST/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Crime is a problem all over the nation. It seems any city of any appreciable size–and plenty without any real size to speak of–are having problems with it. Criminals have become emboldened for whatever reason as crime continues to soar.

It’s a problem that everyone wants addressed. The issue is that we can’t agree with how to deal with it.

In Winston-Salem, NC, they’re taking an approach that I’d like to see in place pretty much everywhere.

he City of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County are collaborating with local organizations to stop violence in high-crime areas.

Leaders have signed with a national organization, Cure Violence Global, to reduce violent crimes.

Leaders say the plan is to have community-based leaders delve into the source of violence by mediation, prevent retaliation and help community members better themselves.

Winston-Salem will be the third city in North Carolina to pair with the program after Greensboro in 2019.

The City of Greensboro gives the local location $500,000 a year in funding for different projects, like housing and education stipends.

Ingram Bell, program manager for Cure Violence Greensboro, said this is a program she honors. She’s from these communities and wants the best for each person in them.

It’s a multiprong approach that, if really implemented correctly, can make a significant difference.

What I like about it is that it doesn’t involve infringing on anyone’s rights. It simply tries to prevent crime from happening through a variety of means, most of which can and do work. The only question is whether it’ll be enough.

I don’t think this is the only program you can have on the books, though. It’s not magic. It’ll do some things very well, but there should be other options as well.

Still, this isn’t a bad place to start.

What’s more, this is something we should all be able to somewhat agree on. Oh, we might not like taxpayer funding going toward this kind of thing, but the approach itself is relatively uncontroversial. We should be able to make this happen in more places.

If we did, though, I suspect we’d start to see so-called gun crimes drop without any new gun control laws, which means some people would probably prefer these programs never be created.

Which is all the more reason to support such programs, if you ask me.

Then again, I could be wrong. This might not do a thing in Winston-Salem or anywhere else. Not from a statistical point of view, anyway. If so, it’s hardly the worst waste of money I’ve ever heard of. After all, it’s a good-faith attempt at ending a problem without treading on the rights of private individuals.

I don’t think that would be an issue. The real question I have is just how much of an impact this program will have. That will tell us whether the price is really a viable return on investment.

Anything that avoids more gun control, however, has to be considered some degree of winning, now doesn’t it?