Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- Some of the most violent men in Syracuse came together Thursday as part of a program called “Syracuse Truce” – a group effort to curb gun violence in the city.
The program brings together law enforcement officials, prosecutors, social services, gun violence victims’ relatives, and counselors as well as former gang members.
The group met at the Syracuse Federal Building.
Syracuse was one of nine cities in the nation that received Federal funding for such a program to reduce gun violence. The grant provides $300,000 for Syracuse Truce.
According to Syracuse Police, the approach holds the group accountable for the individual’s act of gun violence.
The men summoned to court on Thursday were a selected audience.
Former gang member Derrick Wilson was one of them. He said,”I was called to this meeting because of my former gang activity and I think the meeting was needed.”
“We've got to stop the killing of each other as black men, and we've got to do something positive in the community,” Wilson continued. "I'm an individual who feels I have a lot to give to this community due to the lifestyle I used to live, and this is something we have to do."
Wilson’s past and his current knowledge of the streets makes him the perfect ally for Syracuse Truce. He thinks it could work.
“It’s basically like putting fire under our feet,” Wilson said.
And gang members can expect a lot of heat from the police if someone else is shot dead.
“In 21 days, my son would have been taken away from me for 11 years, but the pain is still here, so I’m asking all of you, please stop the killing,” said Dolce Collette Lloyd, whose son was murdered.
CNN was also in Syracuse Thursday to report the groundbreaking effort. Their story is expected to air sometime in the next week.