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Operation SNUG aims to reduce violence

A new program to stop gun violence will launch officially today at the Delavan-Grider Community Center, 877 East Delavan Ave.

Operation SNUG – that’s guns spelled backwards – started two months ago in neighborhoods with the worst gun violence, zip codes 14215 and 14211.

At 5:45 p.m. today, staff members will do a presentation about the program with Buffalo Police, Sen. Tim Kennedy and U.S. Attorney Willliam Hochul.

A $366,000 grant from the state paid to hire eight SNUG staff members to go out in the community and do conflict mediation. Some are case managers and some “violence interrupters.”

“If there’s a shooting that’s about to go down, they go out and interrupt that. So they’re called violence interruptors,” Rahel Weldeyesus, program manager based at Back to Basics Outreach Ministeries in Buffalo. “The most important thing is to prevent retaliation.”

The SNUG office is 3036 Bailey Avenue. For information call, 551-0025.