NEW YORK (PIX11)– After nearly 600 shootings this year, Mayor Eric Adams announced Thursday the appointment of New York City’s first “gun violence prevention czar.”
Andre T. Mitchell will co-chair the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force featuring all the deputy mayors, the police commissioner, and the chancellor to combat gun violence in the five boroughs. The main focus will be to stop the guns from flooding the streets, the mayor said.
“This is a real issue we want to attack head-on,” Adams said. “If the person picks up a gun, we’ve already failed.”
The mayor said his administration has already taken 3,000 guns off the streets this year, yet the violence continues because of the constant gun flow. His primary concern is to stop the DOAs (dead on arrival), he said.
“(It’s) about intervention and prevention,” Adams said.
Mitchell is the founder of the nonprofit organization “Man Up!” and has been part of the much-touted cure violence movement. The organization tries to help those who have fallen into a life of crime and works to turn those lives around.
Mitchell told the New York Times he will be working for the city on a volunteer basis to build on the efforts of the mayor, who laid out a blueprint to end gun violence earlier this year. Adams’ plans revolve around summer youth employment and education opportunities focused on putting kids on the right path.
Yet, Mitchell acknowledged this new task force will do things differently than previous gun-violence interventions.
“Give us a chance to prove ourselves,” Mitchell said. “We should want to do things differently because the same tactics have given us the same results. Nobody wants to end gun violence more than the kids in our community.”