Rep. Morelle backs $5 billion effort for violence prevention programs


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Congressman Joe Morelle (D-NY) is backing a $5 billion federal effort to support Community Violence Intervention or CVI programs.

Morelle hopes the measure will pass the House of Representatives in Washington next week.

“This is really about finding folks who are at risk, whether it’s housing, whether it’s food, no matter what the challenge is, making sure the community can meet that challenge head on,” Morelle said at a Tuesday press conference.

Morelle says the programs exist right now, but are woefully underfunded. Morelle is pushing for the dollars to go toward the programs, using trusted people in the community to build relationships and stop violence before it can start — working with people who are most likely to commit gun violence, and stepping in to provide services to lessen the likelihood of violence.

“We have a responsibility to utilize the many tools and resources we have available in our community to catch these issues upstream and prevent our youth from ever entering the dark and endless cycle of violence,” Morelle said.

According to publicly-available Rochester police data, there have been 68 homicides in the city in 2021 thus far, making it one of the deadliest recent years.

Mayor-elect Malik Evans, who takes office in January, is a supporter of the effort.

“I believe an investment in this today will reap benefits and be a major factor in terms of paying dividends for our young people and everyone in the community in the future,” Evans said.

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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