Savino Comes Through With Anti-Violence Funding For Coney Island

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State Sen. Diane Savino (D-Southern Brooklyn, Coney Island) today announced that she has secured $250,000 in state SNUG money for the Coney Island Anti-Violence Collaborative (CIAVC).

The SNUG [guns spelled backward] program works to curb gun violence by taking a proactive role in the community via shooting response, working with high-risk youth, and other community initiatives aimed at shining a light on this pervasive issue.

The state funding comes as Coney Island has seen five murders thus far in 2019 as compared to none at this time in 2018, and 12 shooting incidents so far this year as compared to three at this time last year, according to NYPD statistics.

Senator Diane Savino
Senator Diane Savino (credit: Thomas Altfather Good)

“Coney Island has sadly been home to countless shootings, with a particular uptick in violence this year. Organizations like the Coney Island Anti-Violence Collaborative are crucial to addressing gun violence in our community,” said Savino, at the announcement of the funding held at Urban Neighborhood Services (UNS), Inc. 1718 Mermaid Avenue.

It (CIAVC) is a necessary program that provides preventative trauma-centered events for at-risk youth and are always the first to step-up after an incident occurs. We will make sure we can continue their funding, so they can continue keeping Coney Islanders engaged, informed, and educated on issues of gun violence,” Savino added.

City Councilmember Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend) called the CIAVC a much-needed resource to help strengthen the Coney Island community and reduce senseless acts of gun violence.

Council Member Mark Treyger

“I commend Senator Savino for providing a significant investment to CIAVC. I will continue to partner with her to ensure we have the programs and resources needed to greatly reduce the senseless shootings and violence that are impacting residents in Coney Island and Southern Brooklyn,” said Treyger.

Treyger said while the police remain a key component for keeping crime down in the neighborhood, it is these non-profits that confront violence in the streets and that work with community youth that are often the point of contact in regard to street communications.

It is organizations like CIAVC as well as some of his recent initiatives such as getting new baseline funding for 285 full-time school social workers, including 100 Bridging the Gap social workers, who serve schools with high concentrations of homeless students that also help to drive violent crime down.

Mathylde Frontus
Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus

Curiously missing from the announcement was Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus (D-Coney Island, Bay Ridge, Brighton Beach, Gravesend), one of the founding members of both the CIAVC and UNS.

CIAVC Executive Director Keisha Boatswain and other anti-violence organization members said they all continue to enjoy a good relationship with Frontus, but were also very appreciative that Savino was able to obtain the state funding.

”Thank you Senator Savino for your continued support of the Coney Island Anti Violence Collaborative and our efforts to reduce incidents of gun violence by strengthening community relationships, preventing and addressing conflict, and working with local groups to expand supportive services oriented toward reducing violence. Your commitment to our work is invaluable. Since January of 2019 we have had 12 shooting occurrences in Coney Island, and your support is critical to our success. You are positively impacting the lives of Coney Island residents by providing a vehicle to educate, address, and treat the traumas associated with gun violence,” said Boatswain.

Frontus Spokesperson Michael Decillis said the assemblywoman was not notified about the funding announcement.

“We put in a funding request this year for the CIAVC and UNS funding as well as for many other nonprofits and we don’t get to choose which get funded. The state did approve our funding requests for the Pathway to Apprenticeship program in Coney Island and the Bay Ridge Center in Bay Ridge,” said Decillis.

“We still stay in contact and have a good relationship with both CIAVC and UNS,” he added.