An ad-hoc committee formed after an East Side gun homicide three months ago continued to evolve Monday as members outlined their anti-violence mission and appointed subcommittees.
“What I don’t want to do is talk for five years about what we’re trying to do,” Chairman Jeffrey Conrad said at the second meeting of the Erie County & Buffalo Safe Neighborhood Committee in Old County Hall.
The committee was formed by County Legislator Betty Jean Grant following a fatal shooting in her East Side district last December. The committee’s goals include developing community policies and strategies to deter youth from crime and building a network of community providers to solidify family values, thereby reducing violence and lowering crime rates.
The committee will consist of 21 appointed volunteers with a maximum of 25 people serving on the board at one time, according to the mission statement approved during Monday’s meeting. The members represent organizations already committed to improving the quality of life and preventing neighborhood violence.
The panel also approved five subcommittees, which will have no more than five committee members on each.
The youth subcommittee is responsible for developing strategies that deter youth from entering a life of crime, recommending new policy or policy modifications, examining current youth programs and identifying beneficial youth programs from communities across the United States.
The education subcommittee will examine current practices and issues specifically related to public schools in the county and recommend policy, policy modifications and strategies.
Another subcommittee will focus on employment and will complete a comprehensive review of job development and employment service agencies throughout the county. It also will develop strategies and recommend policies to create improved collaboration between government and nonprofit organizations focused on workforce development and employment services.
The primary duty of the community services subcommittee is to work with existing service providers and government agencies to ensure that residents are aware of what services are available.
“In my opinion this is the most important function of the” subcommittee, Conrad said.
The members on the health care subcommittee will work with health care and human service providers to make sure residents are aware of what services are available, and it will determine the impact of the federal Affordable Care Act on county residents.
The Safe Neighborhood Committee meets the first Monday of each month in Old County Hall on Franklin Street.