How can I help fight gun violence in Toledo?

The city’s decision to lead the anti-gun violence initiative wants its team of three violence interrupters and a case worker to be deployed before the summer.

TOLEDO, Ohio – Toledo has had 20 murders so far this year, nearly double the 12 murders we had around that time last year.

For this reason, almost 90 days ago, the city hired JoJuan Armor to lead the mayor’s initiative to end gun violence.

With summer fast approaching, Armor wants his team on the spot.

“It’s definitely crucial, not just for the summer, the violence doesn’t slow down or wait. People are still being shot, they are still being killed, so we have to get the wheels spinning as soon as possible,” said Armor.

The team will consist of Armor, a caseworker and three violence interrupters.

The goal of violence interrupters is to respond after a shootout, to speak to people and connect them with resources in order to limit retaliation and help the families of the victims.

“The point is that these people you come from can look what you look like and connect with people who can help you,” Armor said.

Armor already has a pastor and mental health expert on standby who can respond to shootings at any time of the day or night depending on what the victims’ families need.

He credits the community mental health center called New Concepts for changing his life after breaking the law, and he believes they can do the same for others.

“We’ll respond when you need us. There’s no point sitting around waiting and saying you need to come over to us. No, we’ll go to you right away,” said the Executive Director of New Concepts , Janice Edwards.

“We want to make sure that certain people come through their trauma, that it is easy for them not to accept what happened and to be life again,” said Edwards.

New concepts and other community services for mental health, addiction, and recovery are provided to families by the team’s case worker.

Armor said the violence interrupter and caseworker vacancies will be posted on the City of Toledo website late this week or early next week.

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