Safer Streets

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Despite an overall decline in crime over the last decade, shooting incidents are on the rise in New York City. At the end of November 2019, the city had recorded 720 shootings, up from 696 in the same period last year, according to the NYPD.

Police blame the shootings on an increase in gang violence in certain neighborhoods. But in those very same places, former and current gang members have become integral to keeping the community safe. This is a part of the public health approach to gun violence. 

In other neighborhoods, where crime isn’t as high, patrols dedicated to helping traditionally marginalized communities are hitting the streets, mimicking the work done by police. 

The streets can carry another threat: the automobile. Advocates in outer borough neighborhoods are fighting to ensure no more pedestrians and cyclists are killed by reckless drivers. 

In a series of stories, NYU’s News and Documentary Class of 2020 examines the effectiveness of these community-led initiatives to reduce violence and create new opportunities for those who have struggled.