Gillison: Black-on-black crime must be a priority

Chief of staff Gillison: "Dialogue works."
Chief of staff Gillison: "Dialogue works."
Posted: July 26, 2013

ADDRESSING black-on-black violence must be a priority for the city and the nation, Mayor Nutter's chief of staff said at a news conference at City Hall yesterday.

"Race - it's the unanswered question for us as a society," Everett Gillison said, referencing the recent Trayvon Martin case in Florida.

Gillison was among top Nutter-administration officials who gathered to highlight the city's "holistic approach" to fighting crime, which has decreased dramatically in the first half of the year in several key areas.

Although Managing Director Rich Negrin said no one was "dancing in the end zone" over the new numbers, homicides have fallen 30 percent since this time last year. The well-attended event featured little new information and was designed to showcase the city's existing anti-crime tactics.

Gillison said the administration's philosophy in fighting crime is to collaborate across departments to address the issue holistically and engage the entire community.

"Dialogue works; collaboration works," Gillison said. "We are a national model for this type of engagement."

Also at the event were city officials for education, public safety, human services and the Police Department. City Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. also spoke.

One program highlighted at the event was the Violence Prevention Collaborative, which pulls resources from the police department, the Department of Human Services and Family Court to prevent crime in the 22nd Police District in North Philly.

Nutter, who has no scheduled public appearances this week, was not at the event. Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald said the mayor has been "with his family" recently.

McDonald declined to say whether the mayor was out of town on vacation. He said city officials can reach him on his BlackBerry.


On Twitter: @SeanWalshDN

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