“Local politicians and anti-violence advocates marched from the United Nations to Times Square on Sunday to participate in the ‘Don’t Shoot New York’ march and rally,” theepochtimes.com reports “[It was] presented by Operation SNUG. State senators Malcolm Smith and Gustavo Rivera, and Assembly members Grace Meng, Brian Kavanagh, and David Weprin joined the event.” Ah Operation SNUG. Guns spelled backwards. As we reported previously, SNUG’s a $4m boondoggle without the slightest hint of fiscal accountability. A government tit suck that’s currently on the chopping block. So why not hold a rally and let the pols bask in state-subsidized righteousness, whilst exploiting the pain and suffering of families racked by gun violence? Hey while we’re here, let’s see if we can get a clue, finally, about what SNUG does with taxpayer money . . .
There are currently 10 SNUG programs throughout New York—in Albany, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Manhattan, Mt. Vernon, Niagara Falls, Queens, Rochester, Syracuse, and Yonkers—all of which had at least one representative present at the rally. While all programs differ slightly in their methods, all of them are emulating the CeaseFire Chicago’s model.
“I have about eight outreach workers and violence interrupters, and so they go out into the streets of Harlem and try to get to the higher-risk individuals who are likely to be shooters or likely to be shot,” said Robin Holmes, project director of New York City Mission Society, the Manhattan SNUG program centered in Harlem.
And . . . what? Talk them out of it? Stick a few twenties in their wallet? And when prevention doesn’t work, SNUG is there as well.
Holmes says that if someone is shot, the outreach workers are the ones that go to the hospitals with the victims and mediate the conflicts to prevent retaliation.
So SNUG offers grief counseling and helps gangs negotiate with each other? Now how much would you pay? But wait! There’s more!
“The outreach workers have to carry a case load of 15 or better,” Holmes said. The workers try to support the clients and explain that there are ways to resolve conflicts without resorting to violence. The program in Harlem has also been visiting various schools and speaking to students about resolving conflicts peacefully.
“Case load”? “Clients”? These are the words of social workers. Hang on; doesn’t New York already have social workers? Hell yeah. In fact, they’re full unionized. The New York City Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers told TTAG they have around 9000 members. The state rep told me that the Empire State is home to 10,000 affiliated social workers.
One wonders: how many people does SNUG employ for that $4 million? Who’s in charge? How do they rate their success of failure?
I called Representative Smith’s office. A pleasant PR person (aren’t they all?) confirmed that SNUG has 10 “Program Directors” (one per city), but couldn’t say how many “Violence Interruptors” each Director supervised.
Now you, our ever-skeptical Armed Intelligentsia, might say “Close this thing down.” But then the cops would lose a vital source of information about gang gun crime, wouldn’t they?
“These are credible messengers because they have similar backgrounds to the children they’re trying to reach,” Holmes said. “We call them credible messengers because they have the credibility—people know them, people trust them—and so with that, they have the opportunity to get the information they need, so they can stop any retaliation issues. It’s so territorial now.”
Holmes added that SNUG employees work with the law enforcement in that they receive information aboutreported shootings; however, they are not giving information to the police in return, because that would diminish the credibility and effectiveness of the outreach program.
My bad. Anyone want to bet whether or not they’ll get their funding this year?