COUNCILMAN JOHNSON, MANAGING DIRECTOR DIBERARDINIS, FORMER ATF SPECIAL AGENT O’CONNOR TO LEAD SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION

In Council News, Curtis Jones, Jr., Darrell L. Clarke, Kenyatta Johnson, News by PHL Council

Administration, Council, Law Enforcement & Advocates Unite to Reduce Senseless & Preventable Violence in Philadelphia

Philadelphia, July 26, 2017 Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District) on Wednesday named Councilman Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District), City Managing Director Michael DiBerardinis, and Darrell G. O’Connor, a career law enforcement expert, the co-chairs of the Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention.

The formation of the Special Committee, authorized by Council last month, represents dedicated cross-sector collaboration between the Kenney Administration, City Council, law enforcement, and community advocates with the goal of achieving meaningful and sustainable reductions in incidents of gun violence in Philadelphia.

Members of the Special Committee include Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. (4th District), chair of the Committee on Public Safety, and Shondell Revell, executive director of the newly authorized Office of Violence Prevention. Committee leaders and members gathered publicly for the first time on Wednesday at the 17th Police District in Point Breeze.

“Philadelphia has seen a significant reduction in rates of gun violence thanks to the efforts of the Philadelphia Police Department and our law enforcement community. But policies at the state and federal levels that encourage the proliferation of guns are a significant challenge facing communities across the country,” Council President Clarke said.

“We can be both grateful that gun violence is down and outraged that it persists and threatens people’s safety and lives every day. I thank the members of the Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention for stepping up to an enormous challenge in service of the safety and well-being of the citizens of Philadelphia.”

Councilman and Special Committee Co-Chair Johnson said: “As a lifetime anti-violence advocate, I know that many gun deaths are the result of bad judgment, desperation, and physical proximity to a deadly weapon. While any one city is limited in what it can do about the gun industry, we absolutely can attack other factors – whether they are poverty, lack of educational opportunity, neighborhood disinvestment, and more. By bringing leaders in government, law enforcement, public health, and community engagement together, we can develop informed, comprehensive strategies that will be of service not just to Philadelphians, but to communities across the country.”

“We are here today because City Council and Mayor Kenney are united in their commitment to making Philadelphia a safe, welcoming City for all,” Managing Director and Special Committee Co-Chair DiBerardinis said. “Already, we have formed the Office of Violence Prevention to reassess how we use existing City resources and revenues. The Special Committee will take a global approach to the problem of gun violence, and I encourage members of the public to get engaged, by attending public hearings and giving us your input.”

“As a career law enforcement officer, I have seen firsthand in tragic detail the damage gun violence inflicts on lives, families, and communities,” said Special Committee Co-Chair O’Connor, a former special agent and criminal investigator with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). “I am honored to be asked to serve on the Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention, and look forward to lending my experience and expertise toward making Philadelphia one of the safest cities in the nation.”

 

Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention members and subcommittee co-chairs are as follows:

Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, co-chair

Managing Director Michael DiBerardinis, co-chair

Darrell O’Connor, O’Connor Investigative Services, co-chair

Council President Darrell L. Clarke, ex oficio

Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr., Chair of Council Committee on Public Safety

Bennie Price, Deputy Chief, Juvenile Probation and Parole Department

First Deputy Commissioner Myron Patterson, Philadelphia Police Department

 

Subcommittee Co-Chairs

Illegal Guns

Caroline McGlynn, Office of the District Attorney

Rob Reed, Office of the Attorney General

 

Public Health/Trauma Informed

Joel A. Fein, MD, MPH, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)

Phil DeMara, Department of Behavior Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS)

 

Social Services/Opportunity

Timene Farlow, Department of Human Services (DHS)

George Mosee, Jr., Philadelphia Anti-Drug/Anti-Violence Network (PAAN)

 

Intervention/Outreach

Shondell Revell, Office of Violence Prevention (OVP)

Bilal Qayyum, Philadelphia Anti-Violence Coalition (PAVC)

 

Program Review Team

Julie Wertheimer, Office of Criminal Justice (OCJ)

Joshu Harris, Director of Legislation, Office of Councilman Kenyatta Johnson

 

Victim Advocates

Aleida Garcia, National Homicide Justice Alliance (NHJA)

Dorothy Johnson-Speight, Mothers in Charge

Anthony Murphy, Town Watch Integrated Services (TWIS)

Watch video of of the announcement:

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