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Chairperson Grant Announces First Safe Neighborhoods Initiative Meeting


          Erie County Legislature Chairwoman Betty Jean Grant (D-Buffalo) announces that the first meeting of the Erie County/Buffalo Safe Neighborhoods Initiative Committee will be at 2:30 p.m. Monday, February 4, in the Legislature Chambers on the Fourth Floor of Old County Hall, Franklin Street, Buffalo.

          The 21-member, volunteer board was formed after Chairwoman Grant organized an anti-violence rally following a tragic shooting in her district in December. At the rally, she announced the formation of this ad-hoc committee, which will meet monthly to discuss how to create safer neighborhoods in high-crime areas of Western New York.

          “This committee will serve an important function in our community,” Chairwoman Grant said. “It brings together people who already work in the field of violence prevention in order to come up with solutions to our high-crime rates. I am tasking this group with finding innovative and collaborative ways to make our neighborhoods safer.”           The members of the committee are:

- Chairman: Jeffrey Conrad, Center for Employment Opportunities
- Vice Chairman: Tim Hogues, Erie County Legislator
- Darius Pridgen, Buffalo Common Council
- David Rivera, Buffalo Common Council
- A law enforcement representative
- Ted Hampton, Buffalo Special Police
- Kenya Hobbs, Buffalo Promise Neighborhoods
- Sherry Sherrill, Count Every Vote, Buffalo
- Jerome Dixon, Erie County Detention Center
- Marilyn Gibson, Women Against Violence Everywhere
- Beverly Newkirk, It Takes a Village Organization
- Robert Harris, Youth Prison Prevention Project
- Lesley Haynes, crisis intervention specialist
- David Bradley, University Heights Collaborative
- Eva Doyle, columnist and historian
- Vicki Ross, Buffalo Peacekeepers
- Murray Holman, Stop the Violence Coalition
- George Johnson, Buffalo United Front
- Paulette Woods, Erie County Probation Office
- Dwayne Ferguson, MADD DADDS
- Gregory Brice, Erie County Detention Center

          The committee is tasked with identifying the resources that high-crime neighborhoods need to improve, such as youth job training, counseling and mentoring for youth, and educational resources aimed at keeping youth in school and giving them the opportunity to use their education to find employment.

          Monthly meetings will be held at the Erie County Legislature on the Fourth Floor of 92 Franklin Street, Buffalo, and are always open to the public.