A new strategic partnership has been formed between the Brooklyn DA’s Office and local Clergy Councils to help reduce gun violence in Brooklyn. Announced by Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and Pastor Gilford T. Monrose, President of the 67th Precinct Clergy Council (“The GodSquad”), this initiative endeavors to provide support and guidance to at-risk youth and offer assistance in several high-crime precincts to strengthen trust between communities and law enforcement as part of a holistic approach to reducing crime and breaking the recurring cycle of violence and criminal justice involvement.
“We are proud to announce this vital partnership with our Clergy Councils to work together to help eradicate violence in our communities. Finding community-based solutions to violence must be a priority in our fight against gun violence,” said District Attorney Gonzalez. “I believe our faith leaders have an important role to play and can help us turn these crime upticks around because they have the experience, credibility and the resources to support victims of crime and to reach vulnerable youth and set them on a better path. I especially want to thank Pastor Monrose and the 67th Precinct Clergy Council, which has been engaged in street level interventions to reduce gun violence in East Flatbush for more than a decade. They have an impressive track record of success and have offered to share that experience and knowledge with other Clergy Councils and our community in order to help us reduce gun violence across Brooklyn.”
As part of the program, the 67th Precinct Clergy Council, or “The GodSquad” as they are known, located in East Flatbush, will provide strategic, supportive and technical assistance to neighboring Precinct Clergy Councils in Canarsie, Flatbush, Crown Heights, Brownsville, East New York, Bedford Stuyvesant, Bushwick and Williamsburg. This extended program will introduce a strategic and valuable relationship with the DA’s Office that will aim to decrease gun violence and youth involvement in the justice system through street-level intervention, victim services, clergy care, social support services and the Flatbush Leadership Academy.
The DA’s Office will utilize the Clergy Councils in several ways, including referring young participants in diversion programs with mentorship opportunities and other forms of support, flagging local disputes among our youth that can benefit from clergy intervention, offering internship and work opportunities to graduates of the Leadership Academy, prioritizing community-based programs as alternatives to incarceration, and, among other items, offering supportive assistance to victims.