Mike and I were invited to an interesting round table discussion with Dr. Gary Slutkin about Chicago’s Ceasefire. CeaseFire is an American public health strategy that has reduced violence and shootings dramatically. The approach maintains that violence is a learned behaviour that can be prevented using disease control methods. This methodology includes “interrupting” the transmission of violence by actively seeking out situations likely to become violent – like retaliation killings – and break the cycle. The project outreach workers also seek to meet the needs of gang involved youth through counselling, job placement and so on.
I’m not sure that the methodology could apply to murders and shootings in Ottawa because we are blessed with a relatively safe community which does not have a high number of shootings and gun murders. BUT, we certainly seem to have a very active drug problem – the most common issue we deal with in communities is concerns about drugs. So maybe it would be possible to apply Dr. Slutkin’s methodology to the contagion of drug use in Ottawa??