Youngstown mayor supports Community Initiative to Reduce Violenc - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Youngstown mayor supports Community Initiative to Reduce Violence

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Youngstown Mayor John McNally is renewing a commitment to the Community Initiative to Reduce Violence, also known as CIRV.

More than a hundred people turned out for a Friday meeting where the mayor, police chief and others described the benefits of the CIRV program, which offers gang members a circle of support if they choose a non-violent path in life.

"Having the city believe in the CIRV program and its importance is sort of an umbrella for a lot of different people to let them know they're going to be given a chance to succeed," McNally said.

The mayor congratulated two men who are CIRV success stories.

After serving time in prison, Anthony says CIRV helped him to avoid going back to the gangs, drugs and crime. "I got work and I love my job and school. It gave me a chance to go back to school," Anthony said.

CIRV Director Guy Burney believes that with support many young offenders will choose a better life. "If we can give them the resources, give them the hope, give them the belief as the mayor said," Burney said.

While giving offenders the choice to change the mayor says CIRV also puts them on notice.

"Them knowing that law enforcement agencies are keeping an eye on them. It's pretty much you getting your one last shot before we bring a lot of power down on you," McNally said.

Hopefully, there will be more like Anthony who now works with CIRV as a peacemaker.

"I get to talk to the kids to help save their lives. If I can just save one life then I did my part right there and that's all thanks to CIRV," Anthony said.

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