Montgomery may invest $6M in a gun violence program. Here's how it works in other cities.

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Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed wants to bring a $6 million program to Montgomery to reduce gun violence after seeing how the program has worked in other cities with similar problems.

Reed said the high price of the program is worth stemming violence in the city. “Public safety is the No. 1 issue in our community, and it has been for a number of years,” Reed said.

The National Institute for Criminal Justice reform calculated the cost of shootings to the city, putting the cost at about $1 million for homicides for one suspect and $604,000 for injuries for one suspect. The institute analyzed individual costs of shootings including police responding to the scene and the investigation.

Montgomery Mayer Steven Reed introduces new Montgomery Police Department Interim Police Chief James Graboys during a press conference at city hall in Montgomery, Ala., on Monday June 25, 2024.

“The cost of not doing this strategy is much higher than the cost of actually doing it,” said Antonio Cediel, a special advisor to Live Free USA, the organization offering the program.

In any city, the people committing violence represent a small portion of the population. In Montgomery, that number is about 200 people, Cediel said. Cediel said his team estimated the number by studying other cities.

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The program would work by hiring people of similar backgrounds to develop relationships with those 200 to quell the violence and refer them to wrap-around services. A large part of this will be reducing retaliatory violence.

“It works pretty much in any city,” Cediel said.

Reed has asked the city council to approve the $6 million purchase in the upcoming July budget sessions. In his Tuesday town hall, Reed said he also plans to ask the state and county for assistance with the program.

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Live Free organizers have implemented the Community Violence Intervention Program in Baltimore and St. Louis, cities long known for violence. In Baltimore, the program decreased homicides by 32%, and in St. Louis it decreased homicides by 21%, Reed said when introducing the program at a city council meeting June 4.

The goal of the program is to address the root causes of crime from education to community policing, Reed said. A part of it will include creating a community taskforce that will use data to implement the plan.

Alex Gladden is the Montgomery Advertiser’s public safety reporter. She can be reached at or on Twitter @gladlyalex.

This article originally appeared on Montgomery Advertiser: Mayor wants to invest $6M in gun violence program similar to St. Louis