PHILADELPHIA, July 16, 2013 – State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams’ work to get more money for the state’s gun violence task force has earned appreciation from area law enforcement leaders seeking to create safer streets.
“Thank you for ensuring that the Gun Violence Task Force’s budget was increased,” District Attorney Seth Williams wrote in a brief note to the senator.
The task force, officially known as the “Joint Local-State Firearm Task Force,” ended up receiving $3.56 million once the governor finally signed the 2013-2014 General Fund budget into law on June 30.
Gov. Corbett had proposed flat funding for the new fiscal year at $3 million but the senator pushed for more investment in the signature program he created in 2006.
Attorney General Kathleen Kane also had asked for a 9 percent increase for the task force, which is designed to address gun violence, particularly illegal guns, in Philadelphia.
The 15 percent increase would help the task force find more concrete solutions to the city’s gun problems.
“I work every day in my district to encourage people and neighborhoods to work together to reduce violence – especially gun violence,” Williams (D-Philadelphia/Delaware) said. “But just as important as cooperation in that dialogue is policy to support that work. Unless we adopt specific laws, policies and punishments, we are only dealing in a glass-half-empty gun violence doctrine.”
The senator is currently leading a “Summer of Peace” initiative that is engaging residents in his district in several violence reduction initiatives, including job training and skills enhancement workshops, conflict resolution clinics, and family support services.
The next Summer of Peace even will be held between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Saturday, July 20, at the Nile Swim Club, Yeadon. For details, call 215-492-2980.