|Congressman Engel and B.P. Diaz work for "Peace in our Streets" in Wakefield on Saturday.|
The new program will bring elected officials like Diaz, religious leaders, law enforcement officials, and others into direct contact with Bronx residents to discuss growing safely concerns and violence in neighborhoods. They are especially concerned about the proliferation of illegal guns.
“Gun violence is a scourge on our communities, and Bronxites have made it clear to me that they will not sit by and allow the action of a few thugs to ruin the good work we have done rebuilding the Bronx," said Diaz in a statement.
The Bronx is currently experiencing a surge in gun violence, with murders and shooting incidents both rising significantly borough-wide.
The initiative kicked off at the Greater Faith Temple on White Plains Road in Wakefield. Diaz, Congressman Eliot Engel and others handed out literature on gun violence and other issues. They also spoke with neighborhood residents about fixing problems in their communities.
Bronx District Attorney Robert T. Johnson said curbing the gun problem would take a borough-wide effort.
“The D.A.’s Office will continue to prosecute and incarcerate those who possess illegal guns: ultimately, however, it’s going to take all all-out effort by every segment of our community to educate about the dangers in order to bring about a change in the culture,” Johnson said in a statement.
Going forward, the “Peace in Our Streets” initiative aims to regularly take to the streets and outreach. The next meeting and outreach campaign will take place on Saturday, Oct. 9, at the Mount Hermon Baptist Church, 1170 Nelson Avenue, in Highbridge at 1 p.m.
--By Layza Garcia