Breaking News
More () »

Harrisburg joins national partnership to combat gun violence

Harrisburg officials joined Cities United, a national partnership to identify and fine-tune gun violence prevention strategies.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Three separate shooting events occurred in Harrisburg over the first weekend in December 2022, according to city’s Bureau of Police.

One man suffered non-life threatening injuries after a shooting at 11:30 p.m. Friday on the 1900 block of Walnut St.

A vehicle was shot multiple times around 1 a.m. Sunday at the intersection of 3rd and Herr Sts. In that incident, no injuries were reported.

A 19-year-old man was shot at 2:45 p.m. Sunday on the 500 block of Woodbine St. He also suffered non-life threatening injuries.

To prevent gun violence incidents like these in the future, city officials joined a national partnership to identify and fine-tune prevention strategies.

Cities United was formed in 2011 and now includes 130 cities across the country. The organization works to empower young Black men and boys, who are disproportionately impacted by shootings.

Cities United views gun violence from a public health perspective. Just like preventative doctor visits can help avoid the need to go to the emergency room later, community support systems can help avoid the conditions that lead to gun violence.

Harrisburg joined Cities United last month and pledged to work with community programs to increase support resources.

“The resources are intended to really highlight violence in communities as the crisis that it is, a public health crisis. And why? Because now resources are being directly tied to eradicating, not only minimizing but ultimately eradicating, homicide rates in the communities,” said Karl Singleton, Harrisburg chief equity and compliance officer.

The first organization to partner with the city is the Left Out Organization Program (LOOP), based in Allision Hill. LOOP runs an afterschool program for kids ages 6 to 18 Monday through Thursday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The program provides dozens of kids dinner, plus help with homework, mentoring, activities and field trips.

“This is somewhere that they can come during their rec time, play and not have to worry about outside violence or anything that’s going on,” said LOOP president Melisa Burnett.

City officials will share data with LOOP to help the organization target the most at-risk youth with the most effective strategies.

“Certainly reaching out to them when they’re younger is going to be key and then following through with those who are older so this will have an impact and does have an impact across all those ages,” Burnett said.

City officials will hold more trainings this week to learn more about gun violence prevention strategies that are working in other cities.

Download the FOX43 app here.

Before You Leave, Check This Out