Jan. 23, 2017 Staff Report
Residents of Queensbridge Houses gathered last week to celebrate a full year without any gun violence on the 3,142-unit complex.
On Thursday, the public housing complex– the largest in North America–celebrated the first full 365 day stretch without gun violence in over a decade.
Local leaders claim that the decrease in violence can be attributed to several programs working together. The housing complex saw an increase in security features, such as better lighting and cameras, and increased community involvement from PSA 9 and the 114th Precinct.
There was also a larger effort towards community outreach programs at Queensbridge. There were more opportunities for arts and cultural activities as well as after-school programs at the Jacob Riis Center and nearby schools to help keep children occupied and involved.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer funded the Cure Violence program at the Houses, which reaches out to those most at risk of committing violence and helps stop those tendencies. It works with violence interrupters, who are trained to diffuse violent situations and work towards mediating conflicts peacefully.
“It took concerted efforts from many people and organizations to reach this victory,” Van Bramer said. “Today’s Queensbridge is a far cry from years past, when residents complained of regular shootings and violence. I look forward to working with all of our community partners to extend the 365 days of peace for days, months, and years to come.”