YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – A local police chief is tired of seeing gun violence. He created a program focused on repeat violent offenders to keep the streets you live on safe.
“When I grew up back in the late 70s to 80s, you could walk these streets, and nobody would bother you,” said Steve Wolfe, a life-long York resident.
Wolfe is staying at Lifepath Christian Ministries’ shelter and has seen York change from when he was a kid.
“Everybody’s afraid to walk out at night time and scared that they might get robbed or shot or anything,” Wolfe said.
“GVI stands for Gun Violence Initiative,” York City Police Chief Wesley Kahley said.
Kahley started the program to identify groups or individuals causing gun violence over and over again in the city.
“We’ll do what’s called a call in where we call a certain number of individuals in, and we have speakers that speak to them and basically explain to them listen, we’re tired of the violence,” Kahley said. “This is what we’re going to do from a law enforcement standpoint if the violence continues.”
Those in the call ins who continue to commit violent crimes may face harsher sentences.
“We were involved from the early stages,” said Scott Beattie, life skills director at Lifepath Christian Ministries.
Lifepath Christian Ministries helps those in the GVI program with job skills and other help they may need.
“What we’re trying to do is get them to stop and think before they even commit those acts,” Beattie said.
“There are some people who just need to be off the street, and if they’re going to continue their violent ways, we’re going to take them off the street in order to protect the citizens of the city,” Kahley said.
Chief Kahley says this program is part of his long-term strategy to reduce violent crime in the city. York’s violent crimes goes down after each call in, he says.
The GVI program includes lots of other national, state, and local groups, such as York County District Attorney’s Office, the York County Probation Office, the state Attorney General’s Office, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Marshals Service, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Women’s Giving Circle.