FRESNO, Calif (KSEE/KGPE) – The Fresno City Council voted unanimously in support of funding community organizations including the gun violence intervention program “advance peace”.
The group will receive $375,000 for the first year which is about a third of the federal funds allocated to these community groups.
After much back and forth regarding the trustworthiness of the organization city council members voted 7 to 0 in favor of the funding.
“I’m glad that it’s over because it was somewhat of a distraction and took us away from the work we do daily,” says Aaron Foster, program manager of Advance Peace.
Aaron foster oversees Advance Peace and faced scrutiny after a program staffer, 43-year-old Leonard Smith found himself on the other side of the law back in April. He was charged with conspiracy to commit murder as part of a major gang operation by Fresno police.
Foster says it’s vital that the work continues.
“We wanna show young men and women how to grow from their stresses,” says Foster.
The funding is part of a package of nearly a million dollars which will be allocated to several community groups as part of the mayor’s violence intervention and prevention program.
“We have a lot of organizations that are working quietly to stop violence in our city,” says Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer.
After applying for the funds under new terms focusing on youth outreach, city leaders voiced their support.
Questions arose regarding the relationship between Advance Peace and the Fresno Police department– stemming from concerns about how private information is shared with the group.
There is no formal relationship between advance peace but they will continue to work together to tackle gun violence.