Supervisor Cohen today issued the following statement on the recent acts of gun violence.
Though we have made significant strides in reducing homicides and shootings compared to years past, it has become clear to me that the City's approach to incidents of gun violence needs more careful thought and coordination.
In the last few months, there have been a number of incidents of gun violence across the City, several of them in District 10. This year alone, these acts have stolen the lives of twenty individuals and permanently scarred others physically and mentally. These acts are deplorable and will not be tolerated in our community. I have heard from many constituents and residents across the City and more importantly I understand their concerns about violence in their neighborhoods. It is very clear that the most pressing issue for the Southeastern neighborhoods right now is public safety. And I agree– we need to do more to ensure that we and our families are safe and thriving in our City.
On Tuesday I will be introducing legislation calling for the creation of a citywide Gun Violence Task Force, comprised of City departments and community leaders. This Task Force will help coordinate responses and proactive efforts as well as receive feedback from the public. To advise and steer this task force, I will be immediately enlisting the help of professional that are working in the education, trauma, health, law enforcement and other fields. I am immediately calling for a ceasefire in all of our neighborhoods and this all hands on deck meeting that will be convened in the community in the coming days.
In the past, the City has developed several task forces to deal with important issues such as wage theft, prostitution, single room occupancy hotels, electronic crime and other issues but there is no problem more in need of coordinated support and resolution than the epidemic of gun violence. This task force is not an overnight solution, but a step toward a more collaborated, proactive and transparent effort to strategically and surgically address the causes of these acts and put an end to cyclical gun violence.
As a legislator, leader and representative of a community in stress, I will continue to do everything in my power to address this problem, but it is bigger than me, bigger than one department, one incident or one neighborhood. This is not a political issue; this as a public health issue and it should be treated as such. And so, I am calling on anyone who is concerned for the life of their brother, sister, father, grandmother, friend or next door neighbor to join me in this effort.